Geelani Slams Pak's Extremist Forces

7 February 2009
The Hindu

New Delhi: Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani has slammed extremist forces of Pakistan's North West Frontier Province (NWFP) for imposing restrictions on girls' education, saying such edicts are against Islamic teachings. The hardline separatist leader of Jammu and Kashmir said he was distressed by the reports regarding prevention of girls from pursuing education in some parts of Pakistan's NWFP and criticised those responsible for ignorance about Islamic teachings despite being Muslims. Depriving young women of education and burning and blasting schools is 'unjustifiable act', he said in a statement here. 'It can be said without any hesitation that those imposing such ban and prohibition are ignorant of Islamic values and principles even being Muslims,' Geelani said while citing 'revelations' of 'Iqra' (to read) from Allah to Prophet Mohammad. 'Preventing anybody, be that man or woman, from pursuing education is against Islamic teachings and is contrary to basic beliefs (of Islam),' he maintained and asked those imposing restrictions to withdraw such diktats. He asked the Pakistani rulers, ulema and politicians to engage such groups in talks while underlining that 'military might and killing people would not serve the purpose'.