Khwaja Sanaullah Shah

A family in downtown Srinagar was divided on ideological lines even before the partition of the subcontinent.

Ahmadullah Shah, a renowned carpet manufacturer living in Chinkral Mohalla, had two sons. Ahadullah Shah, the elder, was a staunch supporter of Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah, and Sanaullah, the younger, an active Muslim Conference worker.

Early in 1947, Ahadullah had hoisted the Indian flag on the rooftop on his side of the house, and his junior responded with the Pakistani flag on his.

Sanaullah had begun taking active part in politics soon after matriculation, with Chaudhry Ghulam Abbas and Molvi Muhammad Yusuf Shah as major influences.

Between 1944 and 1946, he was arrested thrice, and suffered inhuman torture at the hands of the Dogra police each time.

Though he endured the physical ordeal, criticism on the family front left him deeply perturbed, and he chose to migrate from the Valley.

He went to Bombay, where he married a Christian girl, and later settled in Lahore, working again under the banner of the Muslim Conference.

Sanaullah remained active in politics till 1957. He retired due to developments in Kashmir which he found disheartening.

After leaving home in the forties, Sanaullah was able to visit his family in the Kashmir Valley only once, in 1988.

Eight years later, he passed away in Lahore.

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