Separatists Slam Deobandís J-K Stand11 October 2010
The Indian Express
Srinagar: Separatists have reacted sharply to the Darul Uloom Deoband terming Kashmir as an integral part of India, saying the seminary had no locus standi to make such remarks. They, however, have welcomed its demand for the withdrawal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act. 'We welcome that Muslims in India have raised their voice for us and sought withdrawal of AFSPA. But we do not agree with their political formulation on Kashmir,' moderate Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said. 'Kashmir is a world-recognised dispute and needs a solution.' Challenged for the first time by the Darul Uloom Deoband and Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Hind over their political stance on the state, separatists have said the remarks were understandable and on expected lines. 'We understand that the Muslims in India have their own worldview and they cannot but have a position on the state that is opposite of the Muslims in Kashmir. So we do not feel exercised by what they think,' Mirwaiz said. Mirwaiz's hawkish counterpart Syed Ali Shah Geelani, on the other hand, has accused the religious leaders at Deoband of feigning ignorance about the 'historical reality' of Kashmir dispute. 'While we appreciate the concern expressed for the excesses being perpetrated in the state, the Deoband conference has refused to acknowledge the fundamental political problem that triggers unrest in the state,' Geelani said. 'The issue is that people in Kashmir are not happy with India and seek the right to decide their own destiny. And this right has been guaranteed by the resolutions on Kashmir in United Nations, he said. JKLF supremo Yasin Malik has similarly said the Muslims in India should not take a political position on Kashmir. 'It would be better if the Muslims in India do not offer a political solution to Kashmir. Kashmiris do no think that the state is an integral part of India nor they would go for a solution within Indian Constitution,' Malik said. 'However, we welcome their concern for the ongoing atrocities on the state.'