Srinagar: Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI), the largest politico-religious organisation on Monday resolved to mark April 4 as a black day to commemorate vandalising of Islamic properties by certain elements on this day back in 1979. The organisation said the day must be marked with ‘resilience and forgiveness’.
The members were recounting the horrors of this day during a seminar here. The Jamaat cadres were attacked by arsonists and mobs after former Pakistan Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was put to gallows by the then military dictator Gen Ziaul Haq. The J&K state was then ruled by Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah.
Addressing a gathering of Jamaat members, Ashiq Kashmiri, editor of now-defunct Jamaat’s official organ Azaan urged the youngsters to learn about the incidents in 1979 which were aimed at Jamaat-e- Islami to be forcefully brought down by anti-social elements.
“It may be recalled that 4th of April district Headquarter in Islamabad had been set ablaze by these elements. One person was killed, numerous injured, countless houses burnt down, schools were set ablaze, libraries demolished and the Holy Qur’an was desecrated,” Kashmiri, who was the chief guest on the occasion, said.
Abdul Hamid Fayaz, president of south Kashmir Jamaat-e-Islami said he has been a witness of holy books being thrown into dirt and drains. “This was brutal and un-Islamic,” he said.
“Jamaat has always favoured implementation of Islamic rules and regulations in the valley. There were no intentions to reign over the people of the valley but our whole idea was misconstrued,” Fayaz said.
Fayaz said what happened that day was a pre-planned act so as to bring down the Jamaat entirely, but we are thankful to Allah we could stand up and work again.
There had been a deep rooted resentment against the Jamaat-e-Islami members and sympathizers within certain sections of Kashmir’s predominantly Muslim society back then, Fayaz added.
The most disappointing aspect is, after vandalizing the property, the mob headed for the homes of the Jamaat members who by then had successfully went into hiding, but Jamaat has forgiven all those who were involved in the act, he said.
Speakers including Ghazi Moinul Islam and Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba chief Umar Sultan said that people were instigated for loot and arson by the government and later on protected by the regime.
“Today the same people repent and feel ashamed of their conduct,” Sultan said. Adding the attacks on Jamaat cadre were politically motivated. “But, Jamaat has forgiven the attackers and decided to mark April 4 as the day of resilience and forgiveness,” he said.