NEW DELHI: A group of 39 Muslim intellectuals on Wednesday urged the government to release political leaders in Jammu and Kashmir and ease restrictions in the Valley which has been under a lockdown since August 5.
While maintaining that J&K is an integral part of India and national interest is paramount, the group said it is concerned at the current human sufferings in the Valley. India First, a group of Muslim intellectuals, also issued a release saying the “curbs and restrictions in J&K are causing immense hardship to the people”.
The statement was endorsed by Muslim intellectuals like India First convenor Khwaja Iftikhar Ahmed, former president Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed’s son Pervez Ahmed, retired Lt-Gen and former Vice-Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University Zameer Uddin Shah and Maulana Azad Urdu University Chancellor Firoz Bakht.
“The early release of political detainees and restoration of complete normalcy can be the best deterrent to defeat the designs of anti-national, anti-India forces; working within and in our neighborhood,” read the statement.
Asking the government to expedite normalcy, Ahmed said selective relaxations has its own limitations. “J&K is an integral part of India and there can be no compromise on that. However, Insaniyat, Kashmiriyat and Hindustaniyat do offer us space and opportunity to rebuild new bridges of understanding and inter-personal bonds,” Ahmed said.