KASHMIR’S UNSUNG HEROES: Muhammad Yusuf Khan – VII 

Muhammad Yusuf Khan became the subject of a number of newspaper interviews as his political activities in Pakistan attracted media attention, and he began to be projected as an important Muslim Conference leader.

But this displeased him.

He would go to newspaper offices, and ask them not to create impressions about him that were not correct.

He was not a leader, he would insist, but only an ordinary worker of the party.

Mission Pakistan: During this interview, he was very secretive about what his mission in Pakistan had been, but, after much persuasion, agreed to disclose some details, and only on the condition that they would not be made public during his lifetime.

The file he had taken to Pakistan had been “very important” (he refused to reveal its contents), and necessary to frame (Pakistan’s) future strategy on Kashmir.

According to Khan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah had approved a proposal submitted to him in this connection, and in his own hand, marked it with the following:

“We have missed the train,” and “Contact Green Leaf in Kashmir.”

“Train” and “Green Leaf,” he said, meant Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah.

After spending three years in Pakistan, Khan was directed to return to Srinagar and contact Maulana Masoodi.

It was June 1953.

“This was the time the Sher-e-Kashmir was at his best,” he recalled. “He was behaving like a lion, and talking freely about an independent Kashmir.”

“When I called on Maulana Masoodi, he said that it was very dangerous to talk to me as the Sher-e-Kashmir had delivered fiery speeches against India at Tangmarg and Gandarbal.’”

(Although Khan did not go into further detail, it was clear that he had returned disappointed from the meeting. Masoodi, probably, had refused to play his role).

“In yet another fiery speech a few days later, this time at the Dastgeer Sahib shrine in Khanyar, the Sher-e-Kashmir said:

“’My opponents and supporters accuse me of a sellout. But their right has been upheld by the United Nations.’

 “A Muslim Conference worker stood up and asked:

“’Will you do what we want you to do?’

“‘Yes,’ the Sher-e-Kashmir replied.

“On this, Muslim Conference workers rose to their feet, chanting Pakistan Zindabad.”

“My mission was sabotaged,” Khan sighed. “This was the end of the Muslim Conference.”

After this, he retired from politics.

He sought government employment, and was appointed.

Surprisingly, the Bakhshi government forgot about him.

He was not arrested.

The only public appearance Khan made after the fifties was in the autumn of 2008, at a seminar on Kashmir’s unsung heroes, organized by the National Front.

“I will not die until freedom dawns on Kashmir,” he said in his speech.

But death keeps its own calendar.

Muhammad Yusuf Khan passed away in September 2010.

Some may be aware of his contribution to Kashmir’s freedom struggle, but no one will ever know what his  mission, that ended with the Sher-e-Kashmir’s speech in Khanyar, had been.

-concluded

One Response to "KASHMIR’S UNSUNG HEROES: Muhammad Yusuf Khan – VII "

  1. Irfan Khan   November 25, 2014 at 11:59 am

    Assalam-u-Alaikum!

    Thanks a lot for writing about the grand-father.

    Irfan Khan