Asserting that Shaheed Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life with a dream to see “undivided India” as “an independent nation” and that his “martyrdom should not be divided into two halves”, advocates of the Lahore High Court Bar Association and Supreme Court of Pakistan paid him tributes on his 111th birth anniversary Friday.
The advocates gathered at Democratic Lawns on the premises of the Lahore High Court Friday and also cut a cake remembering the martyr.
Senior advocates and other dignitaries said that recent hostility between the two countries should not become the reason for not remembering the martyr on his birthday.
The programme was organised by Imtiaz Rashid Qureshi, founding chairman of Bhagat Singh Memorial Foundation in Pakistan, who, along with his father and senior Supreme Court advocate Abdul Rashid Qureshi, is fighting to get Shadman Chowk of Lahore renamed after the martyr. This is the place where he, along with Rajguru and Sukhdev, was hanged by the British on March 23, 1931. Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev were hanged to death in the Saunders murder case.
Qureshi’s petition to reopen the case pertaining to the killing of British police official John Saunders is also pending in the Lahore High Court. Qureshi has filed the petition to prove the three martyrs innocent.
Imtiaz told The Indian Express over phone, “It will be highly ignorant and unfair if people in Pakistan forget that Bhagat Singh had laid his life not only for India, but us too. He dreamt of seeing an independent India, which also included Pakistan. It is just not possible to forget his sacrifice for Pakistan, the land where he breathed last. Not only India, but Pakistan too was his motherland. Let’s not divide his martyrdom into two halves. We remembered him today on his 111th birth anniversary at the Lahore High Court. The recent hostility between politicians of both countries should not affect affectionate feelings on both sides for the martyr.”
The advocates from Pakistan also demanded that the Queen of British Monarchy should apologise for the hanging of the martyrs and Pakistan government should issue coins and stamps in their remembrance, apart from naming a road and introducing a chapter in history books for children to read.
“This is itself a miracle that he was named Bhagat Singh and he proved true to his name. When he was born, his parents never knew that he would become a martyr at the age of just 24 and sacrifice his life for the country. Why they named him Bhagat Singh? There was something he had in him since birth. It is unfortunate that the country was divided later and became India and Pakistan,” said an advocate.
Recently, a meeting between the foreign ministers of both the countries in New York was cancelled by India in view of the brutal killing of an Indian soldier, invoking sharp reaction from newly-elected Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.