AJMER, India – Syed Zainul Abedin Ali, the dewan of Ajmer dargah, asked Indian government to snap ties with Pakistan over Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif's statement describing Jammu Kashmir as jugular vein of his country, the Times of India newspaper reported on Tuesday.
Addressing heads of various shrines at the Mehfil Khana, he expressed ‘disappointment’ at Indian response to the statement. “Such statements issued on a routine by Pakistan's politicians, diplomats and sometimes by their non-state actors should be reciprocated in similar manner,” he said, and claimed that Kashmir was an ‘integral part’ of India.
Zainul Abedin said demanded a ‘paradigm shift’ in India’s foreign policy especially towards Pakistan. He said that Islam preaches cordial relations with neighbours and Pakistan being an Islamic republic has never put this tenet in practice. He claimed that Pakistan's ‘interference’ in Indian affairs gives them an opportunity to build a popular stereotype for Muslims here.
The shrine cleric also talked about terrorism and communal conflicts in India and advised the upcoming government that every political party should come on a single stage on these issues. He also raised the issue of Muslim killings in Assam by Bodo terrorists as an apparent attempt to kindle sectarian violence in the north-east region.
The heads of shrines unanimously condemned the killings and called for an action plan to ensure that violence ends and people who fled their homes may return. “The fresh killings are an outcome of some political leaders fanning religious sentiments. These killings took place in the midst of Lok Sabha polls and Election Commission should investigate if these are fanned due to political reasons,” he questioned.
Zainul Abedin urged Muslims to rally behind the new government at the centre and participate in every nation-building activity. “Community is lagging behind in all social and economical parameters. Time has come that we should set short term goals including focus on educating our new generation,” he said.