JKLF chairman Yasin Malik detained ahead of founder Amanullah Khan's funeral in absentia
Amanullah Khan, the founder of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), died on Tuesday in Pakistan after a chronic lung disease. He was 82.
Islamabad: The last rites of Amanullah Khan, considered to be the architect of Kashmir's armed insurgency and the founder of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), will be performed in Pakistan's Rawalpindi city on Wednesday.
The funeral prayer will be offered in the historic Liaquat Bagh park of Rawalpindi. It is not clear where he will be buried.
Khan died on Tuesday in Pakistan after a chronic lung disease. He was 82.
The Jammu and Kashmir Police today detained JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik hours ahead of the funeral prayers in absentia for party founder Amanullah Khan. "Ahead of Gayibana Nimaz-i-Jinaza (funeral prayers in absentia) for JKLF supreme leader Amanullah Khan, Malik was arrested by police," a spokesman of the JKLF said in a statement.
Also, authorities imposed restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir`s city centre Lal Chowk and adjacent areas to prevent the JKLF called funeral prayers in absentia of Amanullah Khan.
Restrictions were imposed on pedestrian and traffic movement in Lal Chowk and adjacent Maisuma locality of Srinagar after Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik announced to lead the funeral prayer in absentia procession of one of the founders of his group, Amanullah Khan.
Traffic, shops, educational institutions and otter businesses remained closed in the area.
A prominent Kashmiri leader, who was based in London before being deported to Pakistan in 1986, Khan was believed to have been the mastermind of the killing of Ravindra Mhatre, the number two in the Indian Consulate in Birmingham in 1984.
Mhatre was abducted and killed in an attempt to secure the release from prison of the group's founder Maqbool Bhat who was hanged to death in 1984 in Tihar jail.
In 1971, Bhat was accused of masterminding the hijacking of a passenger Airline to Lahore and the hijackers declared affiliation with JKLF under the leadership of Bhat. After arrest and release in Pakistan, Bhat sneaked into India where he was soon captured.
Though Khan had set up JKLF in 1977, he was relegated to the background after militant groups established their dominance in Kashmir with a bloody campaign that began in the late 80s.
Khan, listed among the most wanted fugitives in India by the Central Bureau of Investigation for "murder and criminal conspiracy", was born in in Astore area of Kashmir's Gilgit region of an undivided Jammu and Kashmir in 1934. The area is currently known as Gilgit-Baltistan.
Khan is survived by his only daughter Asma, who is married to a Kashmiri separatist leader Sajjad Ghani Lone.
Lone said Amanullah Khan's death brought an "end of an era".
"He was a text book Kashmiri nationalist who struggled all his life," Lone told news agency IANS.
So far, Khan's death has not been reported widely in the local media. There is also conspicuous silence as far as condolence messages on such occasion by Pakistani politicians are concerned.
It could be due to the fact that Khan was believed to be not in the good books of Pakistan for his refusal to follow the official policy on Kashmir. Meanwhile, the Pakistan government last night condoled the demise of Khan, saying his death is an "immense loss to the Kashmiris' cause."
"We are deeply saddened and grieved at the demise of veteran Kashmiri leader Amanullah Khan. His death is an immense loss to the Kashmiris' cause of realisation of their right to self-determination in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions on Kashmir," the government said in a statement.
(With Agency inputs)