Riyaz Ul Khaliq
Jama’at-e-Islami (JeI) Jammu and Kashmir Thursday distanced itself from militancy saying that it has its own modus operandi which is “democratic and peaceful”.
Addressing a press conference in party headquarters at Batamaloo, after many years, the newly elected Amir-I-Jama’at, Gh Muhammad Bhat, said, “JeI has a peaceful and democratic way of working and we shall carry on with the same in future.”
Bhat, flanked by his colleagues, asserted that JeI had no links with the militant outfit, Hizb-Ul-Mujahideen.
“Syed Sallahuddin, erstwhile Muhammad Yusuf Shah, would always announce it publicly that Hizb doesn’t represent any particular organization but they are representatives of Jammu and Kashmir,” said Bhat responding to a volley of questions.
Bhat, supported by his spokesperson Adv Zahid Ali, maintained, “JeI Constitution doesn’t approve of underground militancy.”
When asked about the stand of JeI on militancy, JeI spokesperson said, “no comments.”
Earlier reading a prepared press release, Bhat said that JeI believes “Kashmir Issue can be resolved through UN resolutions, Tripartite Talks or by giving people of whole of J&K Right to Self Determination”.
Explaining why JeI changed its election strategy, Bhat said, “When India rigged 1987 elections, we lost trust in the electoral system of her and we decided to stay away from it.”
He said, “Muhammad Yusuf Shah was fighting elections on Amira Kadal seat when he was arrested from counting hall in 1987 elections.”
“We can go for elections again but when the elections are held under any third party supervision or UN,” he added.
Dispelling reports of JeI members voting for Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the ruling coalition partner, Bhat said, “these are just rumours, however, we had got some reports about a few of our basic members in South Kashmir against whom we have taken action.”
“JeI has a following of lakhs of people; it is not possible to stop anyone from voting when we don’t have direct control over him/her. JeI has a standing policy that it shall not participate in elections held under Indian Constitution and we are following it.”
When asked whether JeI will support any initiative, if at all, to safeguard Article 370 of Indian Constitution, Bhat replied, “What is in it. Article 370 is a dead bag.” JeI has nothing to do with it, he said, “Masla-e-Kashmir is the core Issue with JeI and nothing else.”