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Shahi Imam asks Delhi to initiate talks with Kashmiris

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Srinagar, Nov 14: Welcoming the participation of India in talks with Afghan Taliban, the Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid Delhi, Maulana Syed Ahmad Bukhari on Wednesday questioned why New Delhi was not initiating dialogue with Kashmiri separatist leaders.

In a statement, Bukhari said the policy adopted by the government on Taliban should also be adopted with regard to the separatist leaders of Kashmir, disgruntled Kashmiri youth, Maoists, Naxalites and Bodo separatists.

“The government was seeking peace in Afghanistan, but no such effort had been made by it for the establishment of peace in its own country,” he said in the statement.

Bukhari also hit out at the government for what he said deliberately linking “terrorism” with Islam and the Muslims.

“Maoists or other terror groups perpetrated acts of terror claiming, at times, even 70 lives; they were not referred to as terrorists. They were either called Maoists or referred to by the name of their respective organisations. But if youth associated with a particular religion were involved in such acts, even if a few lives had been lost therein, promptly they were declared as terrorists,” he said.

“Government and politicians kept on harping that terrorists had no religion, yet terrorism had deliberately been linked to Islam and Muslims,” he said.

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