Posted on 6/14/2019
Commemorating the First Death Anniversary of Dr. Syed Shujaat Bukhari
● The memorial was organized to commemorate the first death anniversary on Friday, June 14, 2019 in Islamabad club by Kashmir Institute of International Relations (KIIR) in collaboration of Jammu and Kashmir Joint Media Forum.
● Shujaat Bukhari was a renowned Kashmiri Journalist and the Chief Editor of Rising Kashmir, a Srinagar-based english daily. Shujaat was assassinated in high security zone by unidentified gunmen on June 14, 2018, at Srinagar outside his office. Shujaat was a doctorate degree in Mass Communication and Media studies. He wrote extensively on different aspects of Kashmir conflict and was known for his skills to remove bridges between the people of two sides of line of control and India and Pakistan. His books “The Dirty War in Kashmir” and “Kashmir’s Thin Red Lines” got utmost popularity, on national and international level. Besides his desire for peace with dignity in Kashmir, Shujaat also worked hard for the protection of Kashmiri culture, language and art.
● Chairman Kashmir Parliamentary Committee, Syed Fakhar Imam (MNA) was the Chief Guest. The other participants in the event were Chaudhary Lateef Akbar (President Pakistan People’s Party Azad Jammu Kashmir), Ershad Mehmood (Executive Director CPDR), Abdur Rasheed Turabi, Former Emir of Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan Azad Kashmir, Raja kafeel, President Jammu Kashmir Joint Media Forum (JKJMF) and journalists from Azad Jammu Kashmir and Pakistan, who paid their tribute to DR. Shujaat Bukhari through their speeches.
● The event was primarily moderated by Executive Director, KIIR, Sardar Amjad Yousaf Khan and welcome address was made by Raja Kafeel, President Jammu Kashmir Joint Media Forum, who invited all the members to speak few words in remembrance of Dr. Syed Shujaat Bukhari.
● A descriptive documentary of Syed Shujaat Bukhari was presented to the audience, on screen, to recall the multidimensional personality of Bukhari as a human rights activist, journalist, writer and an ambitious and determined human being.
● Numerous organizations, political leaders and members of civil society paid rich tributes and condolences to veteran legendary senior Kashmiri journalist Syed Shujaat Bukhari Shaheed, on his first death anniversary, with the renewal of the pledge to continue his mission of securing and protecting the rights of expression besides the birth rights of the people of Jammu & Kashmir State.
Tribute by Raja kafeel, President Jammu Kashmir Joint Media Forum
● While paying tribute, Raja kafeel, President Jammu Kashmir Joint Media Forum, said that Shujaat Bukhari had contributed much in the peace promoting processes across the borders and it was his initiative that for the first time, journalists across the borders were able to meet each other and exchange their views, on the resolution of Kashmir conflict. Usually, their meetings were arranged in Islamabad, Muzaffarabad and Mirpur. People from both sides, either journalists from Azad Jammu Kashmir or Indian Administered Kashmir, were interconnected across Line of Control. He further added that we condemn the killing of Shujaat Bukhari and demand fair investigations from International community as one year has been passed but the murderers are not yet been identified and caught.
Syed Fakhar Imam, Chairman Kashmir Committee (Chief Guest)
● Syed Fakhar Imam, Chairman Kashmir Committee, was invited as Chief Guest, in this event. He was the 11th Speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan. He paid his generous tribute to Syed Shujaat Bukhari. He assured the members to raise his voice for the protection of human rights of Kashmiri people, on every possible forum, whether national or international. While discussing the merits of political system and judiciary of other states, he discussed how we could strengthen our political system, which can lead towards peaceful resolution of Kashmir conflict. He emphasized that we should solve this matter of violation of human rights with the reconciliation of International Community.
Chaudhry Lateef Akbar, President Pakistan Peoples Party Azad Jammu Kashmir
● Lateef Akbar, President Pakistan People’s Party Azad Jammu Kashmir, while paying tribute to the legend, said that people like Shujaat Bukhari are once born in centuries. In addition to that, he said, Bukhari was an intellectual and human rights activist. He was very keen for the resolution of kashmir conflict through peaceful dialogue. He had connections across the border and he used them for the well being of Kashmiri people.
Ershad Mehmood Executive Director CPDR
● While paying tribute, Ershad Mehmood said, Shujaat was like a family member of mine. We work together for last so many years to create peace constituencies on both sides of the line of control in India and Pakistan. Shujaat was a great writer and journalist of power excellence. Although he knew he is facing threat from different co authors but he did not restrained from his courageous activities and continued his advocacy to end the suffering of people of Kashmir. Shujaat was well known not only in India and Pakistan but at the International level. His assassination is a great loss but only to the people of Jammu and Kashmir but to those who confer peace at International level. He further added that he echo with other speakers for an International investigation into his killings as Indian government, as so far failed to bring the perpetrators to justice.
Abdur Rasheed Turabi, Former Emir of Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan Azad Kashmir
● Abdur Rasheed Turabi, Former Ameer of Jamaat-E-Islami Pakistan Azad Kashmir and Chairman Public House Committee. He paid tribute to Dr. Syed Shujaat Bukhari and further prayed for him and his family. He also demanded fair investigation to punish the culprits of murder of Bukhari. Furthermore, his speech expressed sorrow for the deceased one. He expressed Bukhari’s love for Kashmir and its people.
Rafeeq Dar, Spokesman Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front
● Rafeeq Dar, Spokesman Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front, paid tribute to the martyr while discussing his various spheres of life, where Bukhari played his best, whether it is about journalism or human rights activism. Moreover, he expressed that Bukhari was captivative of the ideology of Kashmiriyat and their right of self determination. While condemning murder of Bukhari, Rafeeq Dar added that we need to defeat that mindset which is supposedly responsible for this gruesome murder.
Syed Yousaf Naeem, Former Convener (APHC)
● Syed Yousaf Naeem, Former Convener All Parties Hurriyat Conference, paid tribute to Shujaat Bukhari for his courageous journalism and expressed his love for Kashmir cause and resolution of Kashmir. He was a firm believer of resolving Kashmir conflict peacefully through dialogue.
Shakeel Qarar, President National Press Club (NPC), Islamabad
● Shakeel Qarar, President National Press Club (NPC), Islamabad, expressed that organizing such an event was their responsibility to pay their tributes to Bukhari. As the loss of Shujaat Bukhari is not the loss of his family only but the loss of whole journalist community across the line of control in both states. He demanded the international community to investigate the matter immediately, as already a year has passed.
Amir Mehboob, President All Kashmir Newspapers Society (AKNS)
● Amir Mehboob, President All Kashmir Newspapers Society (AKNS), paid tribute to Syed Shujaat Bukhari. He said that, undoubtedly, he was a courageous and fearless journalist. His murder is surely an attempt to silence the strong voices of Kashmir. He was a peace promulgator. People remember him as an identity of Jammu &Kashmir.
Afzal Butt, President of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ)
● Afzal Butt, President of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), strongly condemned the assassination of Syed Shujaat Bukhari and demanded for justice. They offered their prayers and sympathy for the loss of his family. And declared it to be not only the murder of Bukhari, but the murder of the fearless voices of Jammu &Kashmir. They declare this murder to be the utmost threat to the journalism and freedom of speech.
Pervez Ahmad Shah Advocate Leader APHC
● Syed Pervez Shah, while paying tributes to Shujaat Bukhari, said Shujaat was a courageous journalist and intellectual for excellence, his only fault was that he used all the means to protect and promote the rights of Jammu &Kashmir. He enlightened the issue of lack of security of journalists in Indian Administered Kashmir which often leads towards assassinations by unidentified men. He said that, to protect our intellectual property, it is very important to go behind the conspiracy and it is mandatory to go behind each and every person who is responsible for this killing and to bring them under the sword of justice.
Altaf hussain wani, Chairman of Kashmir Institute of International Relations (KIIR)
● Altaf Hussain Wani, Chairman of Kashmir Institute of International Relations (KIIR), discussed the various paradigms of Syed Shujaat Bukhari’s life, as a journalist, as a human rights activist, as a social activist and as an intellectual, who is known as a humanizer across the world. Chairman KIIR, converse about the life of Bukhari as a social worker, where he referred to the story of Maqbool Sahil, a famous Kashmiri journalist, who had been under detention for about three and a half years, on sedition charges. When he was released, no one was ready to accept or own him. At that crucial time, Syed Shujaat Bukhari offered him to work for his news paper “Rising Kashmir”, and appointed him as the Editor of his Urdu Newspaper “Buland Kashmir”, which proved to be a golden chance for Maqbool Sahil and his family. After sudden death of Maqbool in 2017, Shujaat Bukhari took care of his family and provided employment opportunity to his son. On the day of martyrdom of Shujaat Bukhari, the son of Maqbool Sahil exclaimed with sorrow that now he felt like being an orphan that day. In addition to that, Chairman further demanded justice for the martyr, Syed Shujaat Bukhari.
Unanimously, in this event, journalist faculty from all over Azad Jammu Kashmir and Pakistan were gathered together in Islamabad club to retrieve the memories of Syed Shujaat Bukhari, which was apparent to be nostalgic in its all kinds. Collectively, the participants of the event paid their tribute to his services and demanded the United Nations to investigate the matter as soon as possible. In addition to that, they demanded the UN to take strong measures on the security policy of journalists.