Khwaja Abdul Ahad Kanth

Khwaja Abdul Ahad Kanth did not believe in party politics. He had dedicated his life to the freedom movement without joining any political party. According to him, freedom-fighters were flowers in a single bouquet, who worked for a common cause.

Kanth had a unique style of serving. He would participate in all programmes, irrespective of the party or organization, give counsel whenever needed, and, at times, pass on vital information. Without him, many programmes would have met with failure.

Another of his traits was his close association with all freedom-fighters, whom he not only remained in touch with but also took care to meet personally. He would inquire about their problems and try to solve them.

Born at Wantpora in Rajouri Kadal (Srinagar), Kanth was a brave, dedicated and sincere worker. Solemn by temperament, he did not like frivolous talk and behavior, and commanded respect.

Unlike many in the freedom struggle, Kanth was never arrested. In 1946, he went to Muzaffarabad and decided to settle there. He seemed to have been guided by the hand of Providence, arriving in the city well in advance to help the hundreds of Kashmirs externed in 1947 and onwards.

In these eventful years, exiled Kashmiris found his home a source of support and refuge, where scores would get their daily meals, with Kanth helping his countrymen in every possible way.

At the age of 35, he married a Kashmiri girl who had migrated from the Valley along with her family.

He was deeply attached to his homeland, and desperately wanted to visit it before his death.

Though the Government of Pakistan issued him a passport, and New Delhi granted him a visa, the government of Azad Kashmir did not allow him to visit the Valley because of his political beliefs.

A strong supporter of an independent Kashmir, Kanth would often say that all rulers had persecuted Kashmiris one way or another. Kanth never compromised his self-respect. The government of Azad Kashmir did not like him, and he never approached it to seek concessions.

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