February 2000 News

Foreign funds for new mosques, madrassas in J&K

12 February 2000
Daily Excelsior

NEW DELHI: The Government has obtained fresh evidence about the creation of a "special fund" for setting up new mosques and more madrassas in Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere in India till the end of 2002.

The "special fund", according to the evidence, has been created by five countries, namely, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt, Libya and Sudan. Intelligence inputs, now being examined by the Government of India, reveal that extremist Muslim fundamentalists in these countries have so far generated more than Rs 3,000 crores for the "special fund".

These inputs have made a pointed reference to the helping hand from the authorities in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt, Libya and Sudan to the fund-raising agencies. Political planners, seeking further growth of Islam and Islamic institutions and religious places in India, are said to have proposed construction of at least 40 new mosques in Jammu province till the end of 2002.

These planners, who also include some representatives from the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), are reported to have identified areas for the new mosques in Jammu, Udhampur, Rajouri and Poonch districts. WAMY is a Saudi organisation. Three of its representatives were said to have spent four days in Jammu and Srinagar last year, when some Muslim priests and politicians were quietly contacted and consulted by them for the purpose.

Their unpublished visit incidentally took place at a time when two surrendered Kashmiri jehadis had informed a Government functionary in New Delhi about the "involvement" of as many as 15 Muslim politicians of J&K in the foreign-funded gameplan of more mosques and madrassas in the districts of Jammu, Udhampur, Rajouri and Poonch. Three of these politicians are senior members of the All Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC), who, according to the surrendered jehadis, had swallowed several lakhs of rupees out of the huge sums of foreign financial contributions between 1994 and 1998.

It is, apparently, in this context that the leadership of the Saudi organisation(WAMY) has decided to avoid diverting funds to the three leaders of the APHC for their onward passage to those persons who are to supervise setting up of new mosques and madrassas. According to intelligence sources, WAMY has favoured the involvement of a set of serving and retired Muslim functionaries of the J&K Education Department and Kashmir University in the task of allocating funds for "religious activities" in various pockets in Jammu province.

Indian mission in Saudi Arabia has informed New Delhi that the announcement of setting up of new mosques and more madrassas in India was made by Dr Abdul Wahab Noorwali, Assistant Secretary General of the WAMY, at Riyadh. The World Assembly of Muslim Youth has, in the past four years, organised anti-India meetings on Kashmir on several occasions. Almost all these gatherings were attended by Pakistani diplomats.

Indian missionís report also contains excerpts of stories carried by some Saudi newspapers with regard to the activities of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth Kashmir committee. The committee has been reported to have urged India to allow the people of Kashmir to exercise their self-determination right. The committee, according to newspaper reports, is responsible for collecting donations and relief supplies for the "oppressed Muslims" of Indian Kashmir.

Meanwhile, at a time when the controversy has been triggered over the future constitutional position of Jammu and Kashmir, a Pakistani diplomat, based in New Delhi, has been reported to have admired the role of two Hindu "intellectuals" based in Jammu. The diplomatís admiration for the two "intellectuals" is, obviously, the product of the pro-Muslim stance adopted by them on the need for the maximum autonomy to Kashmir.

The story of the Pak diplomatís "love" for the two Jammu-based "intellectuals"was told by a leader of the All Party Hurriyat Conference after his recent meeting with him. The Delhi-based Pakistan chancery has been found by intelligence sleuths to have developed much interest in certain internal matters of the State, particularly New Delhiís attitude towards the demand for the restoration of the pre-1953 constitutional position in Kashmir.

Two Hurriyat leaders had separate meetings with the Pakistani diplomat. And one of the Hurriyat leaders was said to have been given to understand that Pakistan, for obvious tactical reasons, would appreciate if there was an open confrontation between New Delhi and the J&K Chief Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah, on the emotive, ticklish autonomy issue.


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