Kashmiris demand azadi from terrorism; movement for peace gains momentum

A silent revolution against separatism in the Kashmir Valley is brewing across several sections of civil society as a second march was organised within two weeks on Saturday to demand azadi from gun-culture, terrorism and separatism. People marched under the aegis of Jammu and Kashmir Awami Forum in Kupwara.
 
This second edition of the ‘Paigam-e-Mohabbat’ march was organised in the wake of the killing of two terrorists in the district and under the cloud of a two-day bandh call by separatists, common people. The first march had seen over 1,000 people marching from the village of Kani-e-Dajan in the Budgam district to the holy Charar-e-Sharif.
 
People in large numbers gathered at Kister Lolab in Kupwara, highly affected by terrorism, culminating in a march that firmly spoke against militancy, violence, insurgency, corruption, religious intolerance and addiction.
 
“This is a platform of all like-minded people working towards bringing in a militancy free, corruption free, addiction free society. After the Paigam-e-Mohabbat held in March, we regrouped at Chara-e-Sharif Budgum last month and now in Kupwara, to reiterate our call for peace and end to cross border terrorism,” GN Parwana, spokesperson of Awami Forum said.
 
He added that coming months would see more such gatherings of locals to demand peace and Azadi from to violence.

Irfan Ahmad, whose father and brother were gunned down by terrorists, and who is the head of Kupwara chapter of the forum said he would not rest until the youth left the path of violence.

The march went through a number of villages including Hachmar, Tumna and Chokibal, as people joined in, seeking Azadi from the gun culture plaguing the valley, and the umbrella of fear proffered by separatists.
 
Participants also included the nomadic Gujjar Bakarwal community, which has suffered from social abuse, and the ‘Pahadi’ communities.
The Awami Forum, headed by Farooq Abdul Ghani, is also part of Jammu Kashmir Coordination Committee (JKCC) which comprises multiple civil society groups.
 
In March this year, JKCC had invited Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar to address a gathering of nearly 12,000 youth and locals and the meet became the inspiration behind the movement.

“This Paigam-e-Mohabbat was started because of the calls from your heart...if we sit with old issues, we will remain sad. We have to look forward. We have the strength, the confidence that we can move ahead with resilience, and look at our society's future,” Ravi Shankar had said.

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