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The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday condemned the Shahi Imam of the Jama Masjid, Syed Ahmed Bukhari and said India and Pakistan both are holding talks on the crucial issue of Kashmir, and the Imam's doesn't have any authority to write a letter to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif surpassing his own government.
"He shouldn't have written this kind of letter to Pakistan's Prime Minister; this is wrong. This is a matter between India and Pakistan. The Governments of both the countries are having talks on the same. A single person belonging to community doesn't have any right to bypass his own government and write a letter to the government of the other country," BJP leader Zafar Islam told ANI.
Islam further said that Shahi Imam should have condemned the acts of Hurriyat in the Valley and should have requested the Indian government to take stern action against the forces which work against the country.
"He is an Indian and he should speak for every Indian, every Kashmiri irrespective of his religion. The tone and tenure of the letter is as if we are subservient and are requesting Pakistan. Why does the Imam forget to condemn Pakistan and its involvement in terrorism?" Bhatia said.
Bhatia further questioned the Imam why he never came out and condemned the Killing of Ayub Pandit or the Amarnath Pilgrims attack and only shows up when they wants to.
Earlier in the day, Shahi Imam Bukhari wrote a letter to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in which he urged him to use his authority to end the volatile atmosphere in the Kashmir Valley by initiating dialogue with Hurriyat representatives.
"The Kashmir situation is becoming volatile day by day, resulting in an increase in tensions between the two countries (India and Pakistan) as days pass. I think that more delay in the creation of a favorable environment for peace shall make the settlement of the Kashmir issue more difficult," Bukhari said in his letter to Sharif.
"Therefore, with all the intellect, wisdom and prudence at our disposal, we must make every effort to safe Kashmir from the dangerous destruction and devastation it faces and pave the way for the establishment of peace there. The common people of Kashmir are in a state of terror and helplessness as they find their dreams for peace shattered," he added.
Bukhari further said that, "As a paradise on earth, the once peaceful valley known for its joyous life has today become a valley of tears Thousands of people are living, under the shadow of AK-47, a life besieged by bloodshed. Today, it has become unbelievable that people all over the world once considered the Kashmir Valley as the paradise on earth as today it has become an abattoir. This game of death and destruction is making the situation graver. The only realistic recourse is peace and parleys."
Maintaining that millions of Indian Muslims are facing a trying situation, Bukhari appealed to Nawaz Sharif to ease tension on the borders, normalise the situation and initiate a dialogue with the Hurriyat representatives.
He warned and cautioned that the Kashmir issue can neither be solved through guns and stones nor through military expeditions.
"We should create an environment conducive for the talks at the earliest. Through exchange of views and dialogue on the larger issues, we all should formulate a strategy that is in the interest of both nations," he said.
"What I perceive in the context of the current situation is that positive measures aimed to ensure the dialogue process are needed, keeping in view the interests of the two countries and their people . I request you to kindly persuade the militant youth and Hurriyat leaders to agree for a ceasefire through your good offices and influence," he concluded.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)