November 2000 News

JM to Bukhari: Keep hands off Kashmir

21 November 2000
The Pioneer
Rashid Ahmad

Srinagar: Jamiatul Mujahideen, a pan-Islamic separatist militant outfit has issued a stern warning to Shahi Imam of Delhi''s Jama Masjid, Syed Ahmad Bukhari to keep his hands off Kashmir and ''not to become a party to an international conspiracy on Kashmir issue''. A spokesman of the outfit alleged that a serious conspiracy, with international support, was being hatched in Delhi against Kashmiri people and their ongoing struggle, the manifestation of which was the unilateral cease-fire by the Government of India during the month of Ramazan. He said that Maulana Syed Ahmad Bukhari, by pleading militants to observe cease-fire in the holy month, was becoming a party to the conspiracy against Kashmiri people. The Jamiat spokesman said that the Imam of Jama Masjid was misleading Muslims by giving wrong interpretation to the religion of Islam and the holy month of Ramazan. In a bid to substantiate his point, the Jamiat spokesman explained that the Muslims, under the leadership of Prophet Mohammad, fought all the important wars in Ramazan. He warned Imam Bukhari not to challenge the Kashmiri''s ''sense of honour'' and should stay away from meddling into Kashmir issue. Imam Bukhari is scheduled to arrive here on Thursday on a self-assumed mission of persuading militant groups of Kashmir to observe cease-fire in the month of Ramazan. According to reports the Shahi Imam would visit the ''Mazar-e-Shuhada'' (Martyrs Graveyard) at Srinagar''s Id Gah, where he would offer Fateh (special prayers) to those killed in the decade long armed trouble in the valley. After offering Fateh, he would issue an appeal to militants of Kashmir to declare cease-fire, at least for the month of Ramazan. He is reported to have already contacted Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin in Pakistan and informed him of his ''mission''. Reports said that Salahuddin has not agreed to Imam''s proposition but has instead asked him to ''persuade government of India for initiation of a comprehensive dialogue to resolve the issue of Kashmir''. During his stay in the Valley, Syed Bukhari would also meet all the senior separatist political leaders including those in All Party Huriyat Conference and Shabir Ahmad Shah of Democratic Freedom Party. Syed Bukhari has already talked to Syed Ali Gilani and Mirwaiz Ummer Farooq. He was, earlier, scheduled to arrive here on November 19 but on the suggestion of Mirwaiz Ummer Farooq he delayed his visit by a few days. Following warning from militants, it was not immediately known whether he would go ahead with his mission Kashmir.


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