Kashmir Govt Trying to Divide Muslims on Sectarian Lines

Srinagar, April 27: The moderate Kashmiri separatist leader and cleric Mirwaiz Umar Farooq Friday alleged that the government in Indian administered Kashmir under a well-planned conspiracy was spending money and utilizing its resources to divide Muslims of the region on sectarian lines.

“The government institutions including bureaucrats and other officials were promoting fragmentation of Kashmiri society by dividing Muslims in the name of different sects – Barelvis, Wahabis, Deobandis and so on. There is clear institutional support from the government to create the divide,” Mirwaiz said while addressing Friday congregation at historic Jamia Masjid in the old city in the summer capital.

He alleged that resources and money are being spent on creating a division on sectarian lines. “The government officials are seen wearing gowns and turbans in the shrines to promote the divide. They are pursuing the work of India,” he alleged.

mirwaiz umar farooq
Mirwaiz Umar Farooq

Asking the government to explain its position as to why it wants to “fragment” society on sectarian lines, Mirwaiz said, “Why is the government openly meddling in religious affairs. It seems there is an attempt to change the mindset of the youth.”

He asked the government to stop the process of fragmenting society. “It seems there is an attempt to change the mindset of the youth, so I warn the government to stop this process,” he said.

The moderate leader said the government institutions and army are not supposed to build mosques and shrines here. “Their job is to provide water and electricity, and they should stick to it. For mosques and shrines, there is Auqaf and other trusts,” he said.

He said the government failed to disunite people in the past 20 years and now was pursuing the policy of “divide and rule” in Kashmir.

“We will fight and oppose all attempts to divide the people of Kashmir,” he added.

Fayaz Wani
Fayaz Wani reports on life in Srinagar, Kashmir.