Najaf-Karbala Arba’een walk prominently features HR violations in Valley
The Arba’een walk, a 90 km distance between Najaf and Karbala in Iraq where millions of Shia pilgrims assemble every year to commemorate the martyrdom of Hazrat Hussain (RA), witnessed unusual scenes this time with people from different countries staging protests in solidarity with the people of Kashmir.
Carrying placards and posters that read ‘Oh God help people of Kashmir’ and ‘Kashmir is not alone’, written in Arabic and Persian languages, pilgrims from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and various other countries staged silent protests during their three-day journey to visit the grave of Hazrat Hussain (RA).
Talking to Rising Kashmir over phone from Iraq, Abid Hussain Khan, who hails from Gaw Kadal said many Kashmiris, who were part of the Arba’een walk, witnessed emotional scenes as they saw people from different nationalities coming together in solidarity with the people of Kashmir.
“I could not hold my tears when I saw pilgrims carrying posters ‘Kashmir is not alone,’” Khan said.
The pictures of the peaceful march have become viral on social media.
Another Kashmiri pilgrim, Shahbaz Hussain from Rainawari said it was the first time that such a massive solidarity protest was organised from Najaf to Karbala for Kashmir.
“When you walk from Najaf to Karbala, usually you will see many nationalities carrying their own flags or posters highlighting the sacrifices rendered by their people,” Hussain said. “This was for the first time that on such large scale, a plea for Kashmir resolution was added among all other solidarity protests.”
Hussain said apart from placards, stickers reading ‘Free Kashmir’ were distributed among the pilgrims, which they carried on their travel bags.
“Even in the holy shrine of Imam Hussain, people were carrying posters with solidarity message for people of Kashmir, which was quite a spectacle,” he said.
Karbala is the place where Hazrat Hussain (RA), along with his 72 companions, including his six-month-old son, were killed by the army of then Ummayad king, Yazid in 680.
Arba'een marks the 40th day of the mourning of Hazrat Hussain (RA).
The Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik have often compared the killing spree in Kashmir with the bloodshed in Karbala.
The Muharram procession this year in Srinagar also saw people carrying pictures of famous Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, who was killed in a gunfight with government forces in 2016.
His killing resulted in a mass agitation across the Valley which lasted for almost six months.
The solidarity march for Kashmir in Karbala comes as a shock to the agencies that have been highlighting that only Kashmiri Sunni Muslims were fighting for the resolution of Kashmir issue and that Shias were not part of the movement.
Propagating that the main aim of Muharram procession was to remember the sacrifices of people who stood for truth and justice, the mourners were seen chanting, “Every day is Ashura in Kashmir.”
In Kashmir, the government has banned Shias from taking out 8th and 10th Muharram processions reacting against which Shias term the Government of India (GoI) and the State government as “Yazidi governments”.
Each year, the State administration imposes curfew and curfew-like restrictions in all Shia-dominated areas of Kashmir.