Muhammad Ishaq Rafiqui

Like his brother Yahya, Muhammad Ishaq Rafiqui also took active part in the Kashmir freedom struggle and was jailed several times.

“Whenever he returned from Java, he would engage in political activity and get arrested,” his nephew (Yahya’s son), Muhammad Yaqub, recalled during a conversation some years ago.

Muhammad Ishaq’s keen interest in Kashmir affairs can be gauged from the fact that from Java he would always request his brother to write to him regularly on the situation back home.

In one such letter, dated June 30, 1932, Yahya said: “I was arrested on January 25 and released on April 23. I have written about my                jail experiences in the Siyasat.

In the same letter, Yahya wrote about participating in a session        of the Kashmir Committee in Lahore, and meeting Zia-ud-Din Poonchi, who was in jail. He also informed his brother about the Glancy Commission Report, which had just been released, and its recommendations.

Muhammad Ishaq Rafiqui passed away in Java on December 1, 1951.

Once, in the years that followed, his brother, Yahya, who was in Timor, wrote to his son in Java about his passport having expired, and asked him to get it renewed.

When Yaqub approached the officers concerned, he was given a form to fill, one of its clauses being to affirm one’s allegiance to the Indian Constitution.

On receiving the document from his son, Yahya replied: “As Kashmiris, we have not accepted the Indian Constitution. I am not going to express allegiance to a constitution that I have never accepted. You may not renew my passport.  It does not matter if I am in a foreign country.”