Heroes of Kashmir: Amir-ud-Din Marazi

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Born on April 16, 1930, Amir-ud-Din Marazi was the son of Habibullah Mazari, and grew up to be a bold and courageous youth. But National Conference goons made life miserable for him and his family.

The persecution of Muslim Conference workers grew alarmingly when Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah assumed office as the emergency administrator of Jammu and Kashmir in 1947.

Many were exiled, Marazi being one among them.

In Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK), Marazi and his associate, Wali Muhammad Adil, joined the Sardar Ibrahim faction of the Muslim Conference and strove hard to draw the attention of Pakistani authorities towards the Kashmir dispute. Though they pursued the cause vigorously, their efforts went in vain.

In 1956, the Government of Pakistan held an all party convention on Kashmir at Karachi. Marazi and Adil also attended the event and posed some embarrassing questions to the President and the Prime Minister of Pakistan.

Much to the chagrin of authorities, who took strong notice of the duo’s boldness, the President was forced to make a statement.

Soon after, the President visited Azad Kashmir and was warmly received near Kohala. Wali Muhammad was not allowed to meet him. A few days later, Fatima Jinnah also visited Azad Kashmir. The duo was not allowed to meet her either. The police held them up for several hours at different places till her function came to an end.

Meanwhile, two British parliamentarians came to Azad Kashmir to assess the situation. Marazi, Adil, Sanaullah Bhat  (Editor Aftaab) called on them to apprise them of developments in that region. Again, authorities took this very seriously.

Earlier, Marazi and Adil had filed a corruption case against the Chief Secretary and the IGP of Azad Kashmir. Authorities then decided to push them back to the Valley.

One day, when Marazi, Adil and Bhat were sitting in their room, a policeman in civvies knocked on the door, announcing that an officer wanted to meet them.

The former two got to their feet to accompany him, but the policeman beckoned Bhat, and asked him to come along too.

They were put under arrest near Daki, forced to board a police vehicle, and pushed across the frontier into the Valley.

Here the trio was taken into custody, and detained at the Special Staff Headquarters at the Kothi Bagh Police Station.

Their pushback sparked off a severe reaction in Azad Kashmir. Protest rallies were held and processions taken out in the capital city of Muzaffarabad.

The Chief Secretary and the IGP who had engineered the eviction were transferred.

On this side, Srinagar was abuzz with political activity. Political parties were preparing delegations to meet a group of visiting British parliamentarians.

Adil and Marazi came to know about the parliamentarians through a newspaper, and told Ghulam Qadir Ganderbali about their meeting with them in Muzaffarabad.

Though surprised, he promised to take them to meet the British delegation.

When he fulfilled his promise one morning, the Britons were stunned to see the duo, who recounted what had befallen them since their meeting on the other side.

The parliamentarians wanted to take them back to Muzaffarabad, both Marazi as well as Adil declined.

The Britishers, however, took their case up with authorities here, and they were released.

Marazi went to his native Doabgah in Sopore, and joined the Jama’t-e-Islami. He was imprisoned for several years and lodged in the Hira Nagar Jail.

He also founded the Model Public School at Doabgah in 1965 and remained its chairman till his passing away in September 1993.

He was laid to rest in the school compound.

About the Author
Zahir-Ud-Din

Zahir-Ud-Din

Zahir-Ud-Din is a founding member of the Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society. He's also a senior journalist and an author of numerous publications.