ANANTNAG: Noted Islamic scholar and former general secretary and member of the executive council of Jamat-e-Islami Hind Moulana Ajaz Aslam said on Friday that Kashmiris cannot afford a fight against a “powerful country like India” and must “foster friendly ties with the Indian state for progress and peaceful living”.
“It will be in the interest of not only Kashmiris but India and Pakistan too if they reconcile with India,” Aslam said during an interaction with a group of youth after delivering Friday sermon at J&K Jamaat-e-Islami-run Bait-ul-Mukaram Masjid in Anantnag. He delivered the sermon on Jamaat’s invitation.
Aslam embarrassed the local Jamaat, which supports right to self-determination of Kashmiris, saying, “I totally disagree with their stand as I have already said that Kashmiris are not going to achieve anything by adopting the path of resistance. Both India and Pakistan spend half of their
budget on defence, which is why development in both countries has taken a back seat.”
The Moulana also called Pakistan as a “failed state”, echoing the ultranationalistic Indian media and rightwing Hindu elements.
“Indian Muslims are not only economically sound but educationally better than Pakistanis. No doubt Indian Muslims are facing some sort of repression but despite that they are progressing better than Pakistanis,” he said.
His remarks about Kashmiri resistance and Pakistan created unease among the audience, prompting some Jamaat functionaries to urge him to cut his answers short.
To a youth’s question on the rise of BJP and deepening saffronisation of India’s polity, he said, “BJP surely bears the communal tag but it has changed a lot over the years. Everybody in the party is not Sakshi Maharaj.”
Aslam said Owaisi brothers are doing a good job on the political front but their “remarks against Hindus are highly condemnable”.
“They at times hurt the religious sentiments of Hindus which Islam does not allow in any way,” he said.
On Dr Zakir Naik, Aslam said, “He is undoubtedly a great scholar but the way he preaches his religion evokes reaction from Hindus. He must change his strategy in conveying the message.”
Asked why Jamaat is keeping away from politics, Aslam said the organisation is “doing a better job on the religious front”.