The Kashmiri Legend

BY MUHAMMAD TAHIR TABASSUM

Those personalities are always alive in peoples’ hearts and minds who remained devoted to their people, exhibited missionary mindset and worked for humanity in life.

Sardar Muhammad Abdul Qayyum Khan was not a political figure only rather he was a symbol of unity, forgiveness and values. He was the one who believe in Islamic thoughts and took along an ideology.

He devoted his whole life for Islam, Pakistan and struggled for freedom of Kashmir. People will bear me out that Sardar Qayyum was a real revolutionary and a leader in South Asia, who was not a big landlord or businessman but still he had a special status and great respect in millions of hearts. He brought big change in political milieu and proved himself a legendary leader.

He had served in British India army. Then he led 18 months Jihad -e- Kashmir as sector commander Bagh in 1947 and played very important and significant role in liberating the territory of Azad Kashmir. He served Kashmiris four times as President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, once as Prime Minister, Opposition Leader in AJK assembly and Chairman National Kashmir Committee Pakistan.

He was a social reformer, wise statesman, and a great legendary politician, religious, spiritual leader and God-gifted scholar who authored 30 books and a motivational speaker. He was the first politician in the region who delivered lectures, speeches in Army Staff & Command College Quetta and other international, national military institutions for many years on Kashmir.

Sardar Qayyum undertook great effort to enforce Islamic laws in AJK. He spoke and visited most of the world media, policy makers and parliamentarians to plead his homeland’s freedom. He has been elected President Muslim Conference 14 times and then he was designated lifetime Supreme Head of the MC.

I feel honoured and proud to remain associated with him for 30 years; in two governments tenures as PRO (1985-90), Press Secretary (1991-1995), Advisor to Prime Minister for Human Rights (with his son Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan 2011), Secretary Information, Secretary General North America, Chairman Human Rights Wing, Chief Coordinator Europe, Deputy Secretary General and learnt a lot from his wisdom, expertise and leadership.

Qayyum was against establishing wings of Pakistani political parties in AJK.  He spent many years in jail due to his political differences with the powers of that time. He was an honest, dedicated, hardworking man who spent his whole life to serve humanity without discrimination. He preached peace and human rights, democracy and promoted slogan of ‘’Kashmir Benega Pakistan’’ and stood by this ideological theme.

Ghazi-e-Millat Sardar Ibrahim Khan and Sardar Abdul Qayyum Khan were true symbols of greatness and freedom struggle for Kashmir. Sardar Qayyum played a vital role as member of constituent council of Rabita al- Alam Al- Islami to resolve problems and to create unity among Muslim Ummah. His fifth death anniversary is today 10 July 2020.

(Dr Muhammad Tahir Tabassum is founder President Institute of Peace and Development (INSPAD). He is former advisor to PM AJK for human rights, an author, researcher and a columnist)

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