Mirwaiz Among Four Top Influential Muslim Leaders In South Asia

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SRINAGAR:Incarcerated Hurriyat Conference (m) chairperson, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has once again been listed among the 500 most influential Muslims in the world and among the only four Muslims from South Asia, while the other three are from Pakistan, for the third consecutive time since 2015.

Mirwaiz figures in 2017 annual issue of ‘The Muslim-500’, a yearly publication ofThe Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre, Jordan, which ranks the most influential Muslims internationally.

The report mentions that “Kashmir’s topmost religious leader is known as the Mirwaiz and Mirwaiz Muhammad Umar Farooq is the 14th Mirwaiz of Kashmir, who took over as the Mirwaiz as a 17-year old after his father, Mirwaiz Moulvi Muhammad Farooq was martyred in 1990,” a statement issued by the Hurriyat Conference said on Thursday evening.

It further mentions that APHC-m, an amalgam of various resistance groups that represents the sentiments of the people of Jammu Kashmir, was founded in 1993 by the Mirwaiz at the age of 20 when and he was elected as its founding chairman.

The report refers to the “Mirwaiz as the representative of the people of J&K who” highlighted the Kashmir dispute at various international fora including the United Nations Organisation (UNO), European Union (EU), Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and others, advocating its peaceful resolution as per the wishes and aspiration of People of J&K through unconditional and meaningful dialogue among the stakeholders, India Pakistan and the people of J&K.

On this occasion the incarcerated Hurriyat Conference (m) Chairperson, who has been kept in solitary confinement for the past month-and-a-half said, “it was a matter of honour for me to be part of the list and thanked the people of J&K for their support and trust which gives him the strength and confidence to take the peoples just cause forward, to the best of his ability.”

“Equally inspiring for him is the unflinching resolve and commitment of the people towards their freedom struggle in the face of such extreme oppression,” Mirwaiz said.

Meanwhile, the Hurriyat Conference said, “while the sacred blood of martyrs continues to infuse life in the struggle for the right to self-determination, the recognition given to its chairperson for his efforts to bring focus on the Kashmir dispute at international fora, shows that international community admits the reality of the dispute and the urgent need to resolve it.”

“Kashmiri people have a strong case and the international community cannot ignore the reality of an unresolved Kashmir for long as this has kept the two nuclear neighbours in a confrontation mode for the past seven decades and pose threat not only to South Asia but entire world,” the statement added.

The Hurriyat Conference statement further said, “despite the oppression, killings, injuries, arbitrary arrests and gravest of human rights violations, people continue to strive for self-determination.”

It urged upon the international community not to overlook the “barbarism at display” in Kashmir that has resulted in the killings of over 90 civilians, injuries to over 12,000 persons and arrests of more than 7000 people, many of who have been slapped with the infamous Public Safety Act (PSA).

APHC-m once again called upon international community to pressurize New Delhi to scrap the draconian laws and “end its military concentration in Kashmir and help resolve the dispute in accordance with the sentiments of the people”.

The Hurriyat Conference (m) spokesperson condemned the use of excessive force on the Ashoora procession on the occasion of 10th Muharram-ul-Haram at Lal Chowk where the forces fired dozens of tear gas shells on the mourners and arrested them and sabotaged the ‘Aloosa Chalo’ call by joint resistance by harassing the entire locality.

The spokesperson also condemned the continued arrest of Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Muhammad Yasin Malik and other resistance leaders arrest including Hurriyat leader Mukhtar Ahmad Waza, Ghulam Nabi Zaki, Advocate Shahid-ul-Islam and thousands of other youth and demanded their immediate release.

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