London: Several Kashmiris gathered outside the Pakistan High Commission here on Saturday to protest against alleged human rights violations in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), especially with regard to 2013 murder of Sardar Arif Shahid in Rawalpindi.
Protesters carried banners with slogans against the Pakistani Army and the ISI, which they blamed for the killing.
“We have gathered here in front of the Pakistan High Commission to protest against the brutal murder of Sardar Afif Shahid. We believe that Pakistan`s intelligence agencies were behind his murder because he had always raised demand of an independent Kashmir,” one of the protestors said.
“I have come here because I believe that we Kashmiris, whether we belong to valley or Ladakh or Gilgit Balgistan or so called Azad Kashmir, we are against this kind of terrorism. We demand that a judicial commission should be set up for probing the murder of Arif Shahid. We want that his murderers should be put behind the bars and justice is given to his family,” he added.
He further said that often asking for freedom in Pakistan is considered a crime by the administration.
“Talking about secularism and freedom of Kashmir is the biggest crime in Pakistani administration. We are against this,” he said.
Shahid, a pro-independence Kashmiri leader, was shot dead by unidentified men near his home in Rawalpindi on May 14, 2013.
Shahid led the All Parties National Alliance (APNA), which advocates independence from India and Pakistan.
He was a vocal critic of Pakistan`s alleged role in sending militants to fight a `proxy war` against India in Kashmir. He also criticised Pakistan`s policy of treating Kashmir as its `colony`.
The Pakistani government banned him from travelling abroad in 2009, and later confiscated his passport and other identification documents.