Published by Kashmir News Trust
Budgam, May 30. 2017 /2:35pm
Aga Syed Hasan Almosvi Alsafvi is a senior Kashmiri pro-freedom leader who is also the chief patron of socio-religious organization ‘Anjuman Shari Shian’ that takes care of the interests of Shia community and works for their development and welfare. However, the main objective of this organization is to bridge the sectarian gap. The leader shares his point of view with senior Journalist Neyaz Elahi. Here are the excerpts…..
NE: Does Shia community support the ongoing freedom struggle in Kashmir?
AH: Those who raise fingers and doubt the conviction and rectitude of Shia community vis-à-vis Kashmir Freedom Struggle are actually enemies of Kashmir nation. Let me make it clear that Shia community sincerely supports this Movement. There are some mischievous elements mostly non-Kashmiri’s who are trying to widen the gap between Kashmiri Sunni and Shia Muslims. They even claim that Kashmir society is divided into multiple sections including Pahari’s, Gujjars, Shias, and only Sunni Muslims are the supporters of this freedom struggle. This notion is totally wrong. Shia’s whole-heartedly support this Movement and there is not an iota of doubt in it.
NE: There are differences of opinion in Jammu and Kashmir. Some pitch for Kashmir independence, some support Pakistan and yet there are some in Jammu region who back India. What is the stand of Shia community?
AH: We will go with the majority community. Whatever the Sunni Muslims of Jammu and Kashmir will decide, we will support and back them. The decision should be in favour of Islam and Kashmir as well.
There is no wedge between two communities in Kashmir. We are both on the same page. Don’t forget Sunni Muslims don’t take founder of Pakistan Muhammad Ali Jinnah as a Shia leader when they display affection and respect for him. Same is the case here, we believe we are all Muslims and the most important thing is that we are Kashmiri’s. Our language is one. Our culture is one and our sentiments and aspirations are same, even our enemy is the same. Let me make it clear that Shia’s are part and parcel of freedom movement. I am Shia and I have firm belief that India has occupied our land and we want its ouster from Kashmir.
NE: There is a general belief that Hurriyat leaders have let down people. Do you subscribe to his belief?
AH: Hurriyat leaders are not aliens. They are also part of this victimized society. Give me a single example when pro-freedom leaders like Geelani Sahab, Mirwaiz Shab, Shabir Shah, Yasin Malik and including me were given an opportunity to express ourselves freely. The voice of pro-freedom leaders has been chocked. We are not at liberty to do anything. We are not even allowed to converge at a particular point. Not to speak of organizing a rally, even we are not being allowed to address people in a closed room. In such circumstances, what Hurriyat leaders can do?
NE: Is Hurriyat still a divided lot?
AH: The leadership is united and has pledged to take this freedom struggle forward collectively. The martyrdom of Burhan Wani has untied the nation and it is good to see leadership taking decisions collectively. We can’t afford disunity now. We have to be united if we really want to take on an enemy like India.
NE: Where do you see the future of Kashmir and its people?
AH: Look, Kashmir is a political issue that needs to be resolved politically. It is a disputed territory and both India and Pakistan have to respect the aspirations and sentiments of people of Kashmir. The resolution of this issue will in the interest of both India and Pakistan. India is reluctant to talk on the subject as it is a loser. It knows there is no taker of this country in Kashmir.
History is testimony to this fact, how great arrogant military powers bit the dust and failed to crush the popular freedom movements across globe. The writing is on the wall. India has to leave Kashmir. Come what may people of Kashmir are never going to accept India’s suzerainty. There is only hatred for India and it has to come across the table and resolve this issue once for all.
NE: India is in no mood to engage stake-holders into a dialogue. Provocative and conflicting statements from BJP led government have been coming up and in fact Indian army chief has openly threatened people of Kashmir…How do you take these statements?
AH: BJP leadership are a frustrated and divided one. The conflicting statements coming out from BJP leaders show that there is no agreement between them on Kashmir subject. Ram Madhav says everything is fair in love and war, Rajnath claims they will talk to all the stake-holders while Amit Shah says no talks till stone-pelting ends. BJP leadership is immature that looks things through the prism of fake nationalism. Even Army Chief has joined the race and has started bashing people of Kashmir. General Rawat has unmasked the fact that Indian Army enjoys killing Kashmiris and is just in search of excuses to kill them. BJP is more interested in winning elections in a state than to resolve the Kashmir issue for the benefit of the country.