KL NEWS NETWORK
A day after Chief Minister Ms Mehbooba Mufti asked clergy to focus on rehabilitation of Dal Lake, Hurriyat Conference (m) chairperson and Kashmir’s chief cleric, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq Thursday hit back at her, saying that the religious leadership of Kashmir would “never remain silent on the problems of people”.
“The pulpit of Jamia Masjid is witness to raising the voice for the religious, political, economic and social rights and interests of the people of Kashmir and would continue to do so in future,” Mirwaiz said while addressing a gathering at Aali Masjid in old city here.
Ms Mehbooba had accused Kashmir’s clergy of raising controversial issues like Article 370, New Industrial Policy and Handwara civilian killings in their sermons.
Referring to the chief minister’s statement, Mirwaiz said: “People who say that religious preachers should maintain silence over public issues are either unaware of the ground realities or they are not able to look into the realities due to their arrogance of power.”
He said MLAs were only furthering the Union Government’s agenda on Kashmir while ignoring the rights and interests of the people of the Valley.
“In the so-called Jammu and Kashmir Assembly where the legislators claim to be the representatives of the people, they actually work to further the agenda of Delhi while completely ignoring the rights and interests of people of Kashmir,” Mirwaiz said.
“These people talk of representing the masses while in reality they had sold the resources of the people like water, power projects, forests and other natural resources for fulfilling their own selfish interests,” he added.
Mirwaiz said people of Kashmir were caught in deep political, economic and social crises due to the acts of the MLAs.
“They (Unionist politicians) do not remember the people at the time of natural disasters, curfews, cold winters and ignore the suffering due to inflation, black marketing and hoarding. It was the religious institutions and leadership that came forward at that time of crises and helped the flood-hit people,” he added.
Mehbooba had told the Assembly, “I am surprised that (Muslim) preachers talk so big about Article 370 (in their sermons). What is Article 370? It is of significance only if we are at peace.”