SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir National Conference on Wednesday took strong exception to the announcement of the Union Minority Affairs Minister on setting up of two separate Waqf Boards for Sunni and Shia sects in Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh terming the measure unacceptable and gross interference of religious affairs of Muslim Community.
Criticizing the announcement, party Spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar said the move will create further discontent among people. “The proposed move is unacceptable as it amounts to interference in our religious affairs. Waqf boards are part and parcel of the social and cultural life of adherents of Islam and therefore inappropriate for the central government to interfere. As a matter of our stated policy, we deem it highly inappropriate for the governments to butt in religious affairs. Our party has been consistent in its view that the waqf bodies should be allowed to work autonomously bereft of any control from the government,” he said.
Reacting to the remarks of the Union minister that there were no Waqf boards in Jammu and Kashmir, he said, “Auqaf trust was first established by Sher e Kashmir Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah as Muslim Auqaf Trust, and continued to operate sans government control for decades. It was only in 2002 that Auqaf was put into the government hands. As far as Shia Waqf is concerned it too is being run autonomously. Shia leaders have strongly detested the idea of having its properties being run by the government,” adding, “The proposed move has a legal and jurisprudential bearing as it infringes on the right of Muslim bodies to manage their religious affairs. Besides such measures should be left to the J & K Legislative Assembly to decide upon.”
Party’s senior leader Aga Syed Ruhullah Mehdi had previously, in a series of tweets, rejected such a move.