July 2016 News

Local Parties To Boycott Visit Of Clerics, Scholars

13 July 2016
The Indian Express
Adil Akhzer

Srinagar: Clerics and scholars who have announced to visit valley to 'restore' peace are likely to face boycott as political parties and local clerics in Kashmir say they have no role to play. The delegation had met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on July 12 in the wake of ongoing protest in which 35 people have been killed by the security forces. Local clerics and the political parties say that the visit of the delegation is not going to end the protest in the Kashmir. 'They don't know anything about the Kashmir problem. What will do they do here,' J-K's Grand Mufti Mufti Azam Bashirud- din Ahmad told The Indian Express. 'Kashmir doesn't need anyone [cleric or scholar] from Delhi.' Mufti said that the Kashmir issue was not 'a matter of land or any religious issue. It is better that they should take care of their own issues.' Kashmiri cleric Moulana Ghulam Rasool Hami, said that his office has turned down an invitation too meet the delegation which is likely to arrive from Delhi. 'They come only in those times when there is some unrest. They belong to a particular ideology and they are being send on a political level,' Hami told The Indian Express. 'I spoke to several other clerics here. Most of them have decided to boycott them because there is no need of any cleric here.' Political parties in Kashmir also hold similar views. 'This is not religious, but a political issue which needs to be addressed at a political level,' said National Conference general secretary, Ali Mohammed Sagar. PDP's Sonwar MLA Ashraf Mir said that state government is capable of handling the situation of its own. 'We don't want them in Kashmir. We have so many clerics and other religious figures which are ready to help to bring back the situation to normalcy,' he said. When contacted, Imam Umer Ahmed Ilyasi, chief Imam, of the All India Imams Organization, who was leading the delegation to Union Home Minister told The Indian Express that they will soon arrive in Kashmir to meet people scholars and local clerics. 'Kashmir is a part of Integral part of India. We met Rajnath Sigh ji yesterday and we proposed that we want to Kashmir to make peace,' he said, adding that he was yet to get clearance from the home ministry about the visit. When asked about the likely 'boycott', by the local clerics and political parties, he said 'I have huge support in Kashmir and people will welcome me in Kashmir.'

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