March 2008 News

India blacklists Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference

7 March 2008
The Daily Times

Islamabad: Three other outfits also banned from receiving foreign contributions By Iftikhar Gilani NEW DELHI: The Indian Home Ministry has blacklisted a Hurriyat constituent, the Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference led by veteran leader Professor Abdul Gani Bhat, along with three other groups. They have been blacklisted under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA). Other groups include the Fala-e-Aam Trust, which is a Jamaat-e-Islami subsidiary, the Public Relief Trust, and Akandar Trust. They have been included in a list of 38 blacklisted organisations across India, which no longer receive foreign funds for their activities. A Home Ministry spokesman said the organisations were not filing returns and details of their activities to the government. Significantly, a few years back, the Indian government also blacklisted Mirwaiz Umar Farooq-led Anjuman Nusratul Islam. But, its name is missing in the category of blacklisted organisations in the latest report on foreign contributions released by the Union Home Ministry. But, ironically the government has added another Hurriyat constituent, the Muslim Conference, in the list. Surprisingly, amongst blacklisted organisations, the Home Ministry report has mentioned the Akandar Trust as a subsidiary of the Muslim Awqaf Trust (MAT), headquartered at Mujahid Manzil in Srinagar. MAT was nationalised by the former Mufti Mohammad Sayeed government in 2003 and was re-christened as the Jammu and Kashmir Waqf Board. The National Conference earlier owned the trust. Set up by late Sheikh Abdullah in 1930s to look after shrines and mosques, it emerged as a parallel power centre that not only functioned as an appendage to the National Conference, but also financed its political campaigns. A Home Ministry spokesperson said that while the government did not encourage soliciting foreign contribution, but it allowed foreign contributions intended for genuine activities of nation building, subject to the fulfilment of certain criteria by the recipient association. The report has some interesting figures. For the year 2005-06, 18,570 associations reported the receipt of foreign contribution amounting to Rs 7,8775.7 millions. Among the States and Union Territories, Tamil Nadu (Rs 1,6096.4 millions) reported the highest receipt of foreign contributions followed by Delhi (Rs 1,5564.6 millions) and Andhra Pradesh (Rs 1,0115.7 millions). In Jammu and Kashmir, 55 groups and associations received a total of Rs 304.2 millions. In 2004-05, a total of 57 non-government organisations got a total amount of Rs 141.03 millions, while in 2003-04, 47 groups and associations got Rs 220.9 millions. The list of donor countries is headed by the USA (Rs 2,4258.8 millions) followed by UK (Rs 11809.9 millions), and Germany (Rs 10624.4 millions). Among the reporting associations, World Vision of India (Rs 2564.1 millions) received the highest amount of foreign contribution followed by Caritas India (Rs 1933.6 millions) and Rural Development Trust (Rs 1266.4 millions). The highest amount was received for relief and rehabilitation of natural calamities victims (Rs 8756.7 millions) followed by infrastructure (Rs 6794.6 millions) and rural development (Rs 4751.8 millions).

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