The Azad Jammu and Kashmir President Sardar Masood Khan while paying great homage to Colonel Khan Mohammad Khan known as Baba-e-Poonch, has described him as a great soldier, a lawmaker, an educationist and a social reformer par excellence.
The State President was addressing a public meeting on the occasion of the death anniversary of Col Khan Mohammad Khan here on Wednesday. The public meeting was also addressed among others by the AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider, Health Minister Dr. Najib Naqi, Law Minister Sardar Farooq Tahir, Member of AJK Legislative Assembly Sehrish Qamar, Sardar Abdul Khaliq Wasi, Members Kashmir Council Malik Pervez Akhtar Awan, Sardar Habib Khan Advocate, Sardar Hayat Khan of UK, former Speaker AJK Assembly Sardar Siab Khalid, and General Secretary Muslim League Youth Wing Sardar Yasir Mansha.
“Late Col Khan was the Sir Syed Ahmed Khan of this region and was a true hero of Kashmir liberation movement who had devoted his life for the promotion of literacy in the Poonch region and adjoining areas and later planned and successfully implemented a war strategy to overthrow the despotic Dogra rule in 1947”, AJK President said.
Highlighting various aspects of his public and private life, AJK President said Col Khan was the one who had launched “a handful of flour scheme” to pool resources for the establishment of educational institutions for the children who later become leading army generals, scientists, educationists and politicians.
“Thousands of young children who had studied at the late Khan’s Darul Aloom Taleem-ul-Quran Pallandri, were offering religious service at home and abroad,” he asserted and added, “we have not seen a personality of his stature in the last century”.
Sardar Masood Khan said that late Colonel Khan also had the honour of representing the people of Poonch region in the Kashmir’s State Legislature twice and despite being in a later stage of his life, he had participated in the war of independence and fought at the frontline. He had always taught the lesson of reconciliation, brotherhood, love and fraternity to the people, and had launched a campaign to motivate the people to give up using narcotics and other intoxicants, and in this sense, he was an asset of not only in Azad Kashmir but Pakistan as well.
Urging the people to follow in the footsteps of Col Khan, who adopted ethical principles in life and set an example for others, President Khan said that late leader had sowed the seed of religious harmony, progress and tolerance which is now a strong tree providing a shade over this whole region.
He said that the nation needs to once again inculcate the spirit of 1947 in order to liberate their enslaved brothers and sisters in occupied Kashmir from the Indian shackles, and this war will have to be fought in mountains, valleys and rivers, and the day was not far off when the Kashmiri people would enjoy freedom and liberty.
About Gilgit Baltistan, the AJK President said that the entire political and the liberation leadership of Azad and occupied Kashmir Kashmir is united on this issue. A meeting of leaders of all political parties and the Hurriyat Conference chaired by Raja Farooq Haider recently had decided to hold dialogue with the leadership of Gilgit Baltistan, he said.
Sardar Masood Khan said that a campus of Mirpur University of Science and Technology exists in Pallandri, and this campus would be upgraded as a full-fledged university very soon. Similarly, he maintained that a memorial of Col Khan Mohammad would be built shortly where his personal belongings and the weapons used by him would be displayed.