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Political parties in Kashmir welcome Mirwaiz’s release

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Srinagar: Political parties in Kashmir on Friday welcomed the release of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq from his over-four-year house-arrest in the wake of the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution in 2019.

National Conference (NC) vice-president Omar Abdullah expressed hope that the Mirwaiz would be allowed to roam about freely, interact with people and resume his social and religious responsibilities.

“I welcome the step taken by the administration in Jammu and Kashmir to release Mirwaiz Umar Farooq from house arrest. I hope that they allow him to move freely, interact with people and resume his social/religious responsibilities. Today eyes in Kashmir will be on Mirwaiz as he delivers his first Friday sermon in Jamia Masjid after 2019,” the former chief minister wrote on X.

Another former chief minister, Mehbooba Mufti, also welcomed Mirwaiz’s release.

“Finally Mirwaiz Umar Farooq will walk free man after years of LG admin’s denial about his detention. As a religious head he is held in high regard by Muslims across Jammu and Kashmir. Unfortunate that a tussle has already begun between BJP’s various political outfits to claim credit for his release,” the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) president wrote on X.

Peoples Conference chairman Sajad Gani Lone also welcomed the release of Mirwaiz, saying it’s a joyous day for everyone to see him leading the Friday prayers.

“Welcome the release of Mirwaiz Umer Farooq sahib. It is a joyous day for all of us to hopefully see him leading Friday prayers. He symbolizes a tradition which is primarily religious in nature but also has strong societal connotations. This tradition has been routinely interrupted in the last three decades by all governments. Hope this tradition prospers uninterrupted,” Lone said on X.

Terming the release of Mirwaiz as a welcome step, DPAP chairman, Ghulam Nabi Azad said religious freedom is a fundamental right and clerics have an important role to play.

“Welcome step! After 4 years of house arrest, it’s heartening to hear that Mirwaiz Umar Farooq will be allowed to offer Friday prayers at Srinagar’s Jamia Masjid. Religious freedom is a fundamental right, and clerics have an important role to play. This is a positive move towards reconciliation and unity,” Azad said.

BJP leader and J&K Wakf Board chairperson, Dr Daraksha Andrabi visited the Nigeen residence of Mirwaiz here this morning and congratulated him on his release, terming the move as an appreciable decision by the government. She also gifted a Pashmina shawl as a mark of respect to Mirwaiz.

“Congratulations to respected Brother #MirwaizUmeFarooqSahib. It is soothing to see you after a highly appreciable decision by the administration. Religious scholars belong to all & no group or political party has a copyright for any religious personality. I hope, this time politico-theatrical statements will not shadow the happiness of the release of Mirwaiz. Wishing him great for future,” Andarbi wrote on X.

Apni Party chief Altaf Bukhari expressed hope that the Mirwaiz will play his role to shape the society in a positive way for a better and peaceful tomorrow.

“I want to place on record thanks to the Hon’ble Union Home Minister Mr. Amit Shah ji  @AmitShah and LG Manoj Sinha ji @manojsinha_ for the decision to allow Mirwaiz Umar Farooq to lead Friday prayers at historic Jamia Masjid. Hope Mirwaiz Sahab will play his role to shape the society in a positive way for a better and peaceful tomorrow,” Bukhari said in a post on X.

Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP) chief spokesperson Salman Nizami sought the release of all clerics.

“Today, the government has decided to allow Mirwaiz Umar Farooq sahib to lead the congregational prayers at the historic Jamia Masjid in Srinagar. It is a welcome step and we have been repeatedly seeking the release of religious clerics who are highly influential in our society and can have a substantial impact on our youngsters, if their knowledge and influence are positively used. We again demand the release of all Islamic clerics to utilise their efforts for a positive outcome,” Nizami said.

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