Attempt to bridge the gap between Kashmir and Jammu Muslims

Attempt to bridge the gap between Kashmir and Jammu Muslims

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Kashmir Conflict and Muslims of Jammu
[From L to R] Zafar Choudhary, author of the book “Kashmir Conflict and Muslims of Jammu”; Editor in Chief of Rising Kashmir, Dr. Syed Shujaat Bukhari; activist Dr. Altaf Hussain, and Publisher Gulshan Books, Sheikh Ajaz Iqbal.
Rising Kashmir foundation in collaboration with Gulshan Books released a book “Kashmir Conflict and Muslims of Jammu written by Zafar Choudhary.

According to KNS correspondent speaking on the release of the book Noted civil society activist, Dr. Altaf Hussain said he as a Kashmiri Muslim was deeply pained for not having stood by the people of his own religion while a carnage was going across the Pir Panchal.  “People of Kashmir were shouting hum Kashmiri hain tayaar, humlawar khabardaar – (We Kashmiri’s are ready, let the attacker beware)” while we did not spare a thought, a tear and even a meek voice in sympathy with our co-religions and here today I on behalf of civil society of Muslims of Kashmir offer an unmitigated and unqualified apology to the Muslims of Jammu.

“Though culturally and geographically you may be close to Punjab but politically your fate lies with us. You are an inseparable part of us.”

On this occasion Choudhary addressed questions of the audiences on the title of the book and idea behind writing on such subject.

He said there were several narratives like Jammu, Kashmir and state centric which were complex to address.  “We have lived a sort of compartmentalized life for centuries but more particularly over the last six decades. We have very little assessment of each other’s life and what’s happening around. If you meet people in Kashmir and write something about Jammu, the questions like this is another suspicious work challenging the Muslim ideology to create new identities arises…And if you put the title of the book in the Jammu perspective – it is separatist! So, there was a lot of risk.”

Columnist, Abdul Majeed Zargar reviewed the book on the occasion stating that the book has given a great account of social and religious organization and their activity in Jammu post 1931.

“It is a comprehensive attempt to place the Muslims of Jammu in the unending conflict of Kashmir. It has been positioned till 1931, then from 1931-47 following from 1947 to 65 and beyond that.”

Senior political analyst and academician, Gul Mohammad Wani asserted that the book is very important, not only for academicians and civil society but those who deal with policy making in a politically sensitive state like Jammu and Kashmir.

The welcome address was given by Editor in Chief of Rising Kashmir, Dr. Syed Shujaat Bukhari who said releasing this book was important because throughout the history there was a gap between Muslims of Jammu and Kashmir regions. “Unfortunately, we have always been in denial mode, whenever we talk about complains of Jammu Muslims, we come across that there has no problem with them but the reality on ground is the Muslims of Jammu tell us that we (Kashmir Muslims) do not recognize them. I thought we need to address the critical juncture of Kashmir politics and set a discourse and generate a debate on this very important subject.”

He said it is a significant day for Kashmiri Muslims to take stock of what has happened and introspect! He expressed gratitude to the author for writing the book and said it is not an easy job to write something like this when you are in a conflict like situation.

Proprietor of Gulshan Books, Sheikh Ajaz Iqbal presented vote of thanks while City Editor, Rising Kashmir, Nazir Ganaie hosted the function.