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Published On: Tue, Nov 12th, 2013

2013 Kashmir Day Celebration in Rochdale UK | Flag Hoisting in Rochdale 2013

kashmir day in uk rochdale uk  (4)


2013 Kashmir Day Celebration in Rochdale UK | Flag Hoisting in Rochdale 2013
Free Jammu and Kashmir (Azad Kashmir) is one of the world’s most beautiful places but has, since 1947, been the scene of conflict between the two nuclear-armed “occupying” states of India and Pakistan. At least half a million people of Kasmiri origin or decent live in the UK with some estimates putting the number as high as three quarters of a million. Rochdale has around 10,000 kashmiri people and on Thursday 24th October Azad Kashmir Day, after last year’s inaugural and ground-breaking flag-raising in Rochdale was celebrated again on a chilly but dry autumn morning in front of Rochdale’s historic Town Hall.. The enthusiastic crowd were addressed by both of the borough’s MPs – Rochdale’s Simon Danczuk and Middleton and Heywood’s Jim Dobbin together with Rochdale Councillors Aftab Hussain and Daalat Ali and the leader of Rochdale Council –Councillor Colin Lambert. Manchester councillor Afzal Khan CBE – who was the youngest, and first Asian and Muslim, Lord Mayor of Manchester from 2005 to 2006 and a candidate for next year’s European Parliamentary elections, also spoke.

Cllr Hussain welcomed everyone followed by Cllr Daalat Ali, a leading figure within the UK Kashmiri community who has written widely about Kashmir and scripted and produced films in the Pahari language kept his speech short but asked everyone to enjoy their day. Rochdale’s MP,Simon Danczuk who visited Kashmir in July of last year to gain some first-hand experience of the developing humanitarian crisis and is treasurer of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Kashmir has been one of the leading parliamentarians raising the issue of Kashmir and pledged to continue his support. And said “I’m pleased to be celebrating Kashmir National Day, we have a large Kashmiri community in Rochdale and its important that we recognise that. There are two important political issues related to Kashmir which affect us all. One is self-determination for those living in Kashmir. The second is that the UK Census should recognise ‘Kashmiri’ as a category so that we are more aware of this community in our country and so that they have a stronger identity.”

Cllr Afzal Khan said that he himself was half Kashmiri and spoke with feeling about the struggle for freedom self identity of the biggest minority group in Britain.

Middleton and Heywood Member of Parliament Jim Dobbin spoke of his links with the Kashmiri community stretching back for over forty years and highlighted the amount of support in Parliament for self-determination and wished the community good luck for the future.

To a resounding round of applause the leader of Rochdale Council, Cllr Colin Lambert echoed his support and wishing everyone a happy day,raised the flag to fly for the day alongside the Union Flag and Cross of St George.

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2013 Kashmir Day Celebration, in Rochdale UK , Flag Hoisting in Rochdale, 2013, kashmir day in rochdale uk

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