24 years of imprisonment, ( 5th Feb 1993 – 5th Feb 2017 ) Dr. MUHAMMAD QASIM – A MISSION And A VISION
Author :  MuslimDeeniMahaz / 2/4/2017
24 years of imprisonment 5th Feb 1993 – 5th Feb 2017 Dr. MUHAMMAD QASIM – A MISSION, A VISION Dr Muhammad Qasim completes 24 years in prison. He is languishing in Jail for holding political views that are unacceptable to the ruling establishment. He has lost half his eye sight, and has been advised surgery by doctors. He is taking medicine regularly for his chronic intestinal ailment. His heart disease is a matter of serious concern for his family and well-wishers. Advocate Abdul Mateen sums up the life and views of Dr. Qasim . “Dr Muhammad Qasim an outstanding political ideologue and writer of contemporary Kashmir, is suffering incarceration for holding political beliefs that are unacceptable to the ruling establishment and he has been convicted under an infamous anti-terrorist legislation in a trial that manifestly was wanting in judicial fairness as overzealous prosecutors employed dubious investigatory methods for collecting materials of evidential value on the basis of which Dr Qasim was ultimately tried and convicted for life. The international commission of jurists and other like minded non-governmental organizations has a Sisyphean task in combating the unfairness of these political trials. Yet they can play a useful role in mobilizing world public opinion against the iniquity of such trials, as a large number of faceless, voiceless and hapless people in several countries of the world are suffering incarceration for their political beliefs and nobody has time in the civilized world to address to their plight. The trial of Dr Qasim should serve as a wakeup call for those international organizations who are striving for “Human Rights” and “Rule of Law” so that we are able to establish a world order that is just, equitable and rational. I earnestly hope that DrQasim’s case will receive due attention from concerned quarters that it really deserves on its own merits.” SayyidTasaduqHussain Sr. Advocate J&K High Court Dr Muhammad Qasim was born in 1967 in a middle class family at Zaldagar Srinagar. His father was a well known handicraft exporter. Among five children he was the youngest one. In the year 1980 when he was 13 years of age his father at the age of 50 years due to a severe heart attack left this world. It was a great shock to whole family and his friends. It was time when all the five children were studying thus, the main problem before the family was of livelihood. They were having two showrooms at Pather Masjid and Rainawari localities. But the problem was that, who will take care of these two showrooms. At that time the age of elder brother of Dr. Muhammad Qasim was just 18, it was crucial stage for whole family as the studies of all the children could have affected. At this sensitive moment his elder brother showed his broad mindedness and courage by coming forward to take the whole responsibility of the family and sacrificing his own studies so that Dr Muhammad Qasim and three sisters could continue their studies without any problem, but due to his young age and inexperience the business start to decline, but during this period his two sisters completed their studies and got married. In 1983 Dr Qasim completed the basic studies i.e. Matriculation from the Modern Islamia High School, Nawab Bazar and immediately after that started tuition to some local children and got an ordinary sort of engagement to help his family financially. In 1985 the police department sought applications from the youth for the recruitment for the post of Sub Inspectors. Dr Qasim also appeared in the selection test for the said post. For the selection he was demanded Rs 25000 as bribe since he was not in a position to pay the amount so inspite of completing all other formalities he was not selected. Dr Qasim often uses to say that I felt very much sorry and distressed at that time for not being selected for the said post. I used to curse that person who demanded the money, but now I pray for his good, regarding that incident he says that when your point of view changes regarding life, the yardstick to measure good and evil also got changed. At that time not becoming an Inspector was a great shock for me but in 1993 immediately after my arrest the advisor to Governor D.D. Saklani came to me at Papa-2 interrogation centre three times to convince me for taking part in the elections. He not only assured me the success in the elections but also assured me the ministerial berth. On another occasion in January 2002 at TalabTiloo interrogation centre Jammu the same offer was repeated by some intelligence officers but on the both occasions without giving any thought to their offers with great satisfaction I rejected the offer thus, gave priority to the jail. Although there is no comparison between an ordinary inspector post and ministerial berth but my view point regarding life was entirely different now. Regarding the year 1987, Dr. Muhammad Qasim writes that this year was turning point for me. In his autobiography (yet to be published) Bebasi (helplessness) he says that until 1987 I was an ordinary type of college student, always engaged in playing, seeing cricket and other sports. But in that year first time in my life I felt actively inclined towards Islam. Probably in this change, by the will of Allah the book of MaulanaAshaqIllahi, Marne KeBa'dkyaHoga (what will happen after death) played an important role. Now I kept related myself with Darsgah and used to remain in touch with religious minded companions." In 1987 Dr. Qasim completed his B.Com degree from Islamia College and in order to appear in the exams of ICWA which were going to be held at Delhi started the preparation for the entrance test. During that period with the help of one religious colleague namely Tariq Ahmad Sheikh ofHyderpora Dr. Qasim met a well known guerilla leader Muhammad Abdullah Bangru who had returned to Kashmir after getting guerilla training in Afghanistan. In 1990 Dr. Qasim was appointed as spokesman of the Hizbul Mujahidin (H.M) outfit. He did not give up his studies but changed his subject and chose Islamiyat instead of ICWA and with that also started his writing career. He regularly wrote for the local newspapers. His columns were published in the newspapers and journals. He used to write column KadwaSach (Bitter truth) for the daily Alsafa newspaper. In Oct. 1990 Dr. Qasim married chairperson of women reformist organization Dukhtran-i-Millat, AsiyahAndrabi and got related with known educated and religious family of Kashmir. While continuing his studies he completed the degrees of MaulviFazil, MA, M Phil and Ph.D (Islamic Studies) from the Kashmir University. Teaching and preaching became his fulltime engagements. He started giving the sermons in different mosques, and also raised the voice against the social evils and theoretical apostasies which were flourishing in the society, and alongwith these engagements he also worked for permanent solution of the Kashmir problem according to the wishes of the people and used his oratory skills and pen in this regard. Hundreds of his essays which were on various topics were published not only in the local dailies but also in the fortnightly and monthly magazines of the various states of India. Besides this his many books in which i) Insankata'ruf ii) Dai Da’watAurMadu iii) MaslakiMasajidAurTafriqbainulMuslemin iv) KashmiriyatAurItihadBainulMuslemin v) Maslai Kashmir kiShari'eHassiyat vi) AqedahTawhidAurBhartiIntikhabaat Main Shirkat vii) Al-Tawhid (in English) viii) The Status of Sunnah ix)TahrikIahyaKhilafat x)QuraniIlaj xi) Wiladat say Adalattak xii)TafseerAshan-al-Hadith xiii)Critoxiv)WahiAurAqal xv) Bang xvi) ToResist Indian Occupatin…are particularly worth mentioning. In 1993, he along with his wife and infant child Muhammad were arrested at Srinagar airport while returning from Delhi. After 13 months of detention his wife and infant son were released but he was detained under PSA and sent to the jail for one year. Since you had endowed his pen for the freedom movement, for the Indian rulers who always talk about freedom of expression and pen should not have been any crime but here their yardstick is quite different not anywhere in the detention grounds militant activities were mentioned so it was obvious that, the government would have been compelled to release him after one year thus, ruling establishment used extremely wicked method to settle its political rivalry, as BSF men and intelligence agencies through severe torture in the notorious- Papa-2 interrogation centre forced Dr. Qasim to sign some blank papers and after that he came to know that he has been involved in the conspiracy of a murder of some person namely HardaiNathWanchoo. In March 1999 when he was released on bail he launched religious organization Muslim DiniMahaz . During this period on the invitation of Muslim Parliament of London he visited Britain and on the invitation of WAMY visited Saudi Arabia and to meet some relatives he visited Pakistan. On his return he established teaching centres at Raj Bagh, Hazratbal and various other places. In July 2001 the TADA Court Jammu honourably acquitted him and his two companions in the above said case. But the decision did not suit ruling establishment thus, they filed petition against this judgement in the Supreme Court of India and in Jan 2003 the Supreme Court acknowledged that since there is no evidence against Dr. Qasim and his two companions and case is solely based on their 'confessional statements' still the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India sentenced them for life imprisonment. Here I want to draw the kind attention of the readers towards an important point. In August 2002 the Chairman of JKLF Mr. Muhammad Yasin Malik informed Dr Qasim through his friend that, he (Yasin Malik) had information through some of his Delhi based friends that platform has been set for slapping the life imprisonment for Dr. Qasim. In Nov. 2002 a well knownHurriyat activist Muhammad SalimZargar has personally told Dr. Qasim that the sleuths of intelligence department have told him (SalimZargar) in the Jammu Court that they will never allow Dr. Qasim to come out of the jail. Here an important question arises that the judgement was to be given by the Supreme Court of India as in Jan 2003 it did, how came the intelligence sleuths and ruling establishment know about this judgement before it was announced? And that too when the famous advocates of the valley like Mr. Abdul Qayum, Mr. Mufti Mehraj-ud-din, Mr. Zaffer Ahmad Shah, SayyidTasaduqHussain, Mr. Abdullah Pandit and also the famous advocates of India Mr. KapilSibal and Mr. B.B. Singh had assured Dr. Qasim after seeing the charge sheet that there is not even an one percent (1%) chance of conviction in this case. Important question here is that, from where then this decision of sentencing him was taken Here I am narrating views of Dr. Qasim on various topics. Dr. Qasim’s views on freedom of religion: On the basis of various verses of the Qur‘an particularly verses (76:3) (2:256), (18:29), Dr. Qasim is of firm belief that freedom of religion is birth right of every human being as it has been bestowed to mankind by Allah thus, nobody should be forced to change his/her religion nor it is permissible to kill anybody on the basis of his/her religion. As mentioned above Dr Qasim is firm believer of freedom of religion that is why he opposes the ban on conversion from one religion to another by some states and countries. His point of view is that it is the worst human rights violation to ban religious conversion, because adoption of religion is one’s personal decision how can it be banned? He pleads it with vigour that as some people are talking about clash of civilization a debate must be started among the religious scholars and leaders of all religions so that the efforts to create clash between different religions particularly between Islam and Christianity can be defeated at very first stage. He further says that if this debate begins under UN observation it will give new hope of peace to mankind. Regarding the objective of this debate he says these religious leaders can create better and livable environment for human being in present world by promoting common teachings of brotherhood, human friendship and peace and harmony. Regarding this the Muslim theologians can get guidance from famous agreements like SulhaiHudaibia and MithaqMadinah. Dr Qasim believes that Islam and Muslims will be benefited more than other religions and their followers if there is peace and harmony in the world. He admits in his writings that America and European countries are centuries ahead of Muslim countries as for as science and technology is concerned thus, there is only one field for the Muslims to work in these countries and that is field of Dawah (religious preaching) because the citizens of these countries are lacking spiritual peace and are looking for ideological food if Muslims can fill this vacuum they need not then to fight Europe and America militarily and politically. Dr Qasim condemns all such activities in which some insane persons attack religious places be it Mosques, Temples, Churches and Gurdawarasetc, he also condemns strictly the killing of innocent people by armed men his view is that if the ‘Muslims’ will target religious places of non Muslims it is not only that they are maligning Islam and Muslims they are disobeying Allah and His Messenger (SAAS) such activities are against the concept of religious freedom in Islam. He declares it unIslamic to target public places, buses, railway stations and markets etc, he says that even during the war Islam doesn’t allow attacking or killing of women, children, old persons, monks and all those persons who are not directly involved in the fighting against Muslims. Teachings of the Qur’an and sayings of Muhammad (SAAS) are clear about this. He blames the foreign policies of America and Britain particularly their forcible and illegal interference in the Muslim countries for present war like situation in the world. His view point regarding Kashmir economy: Dr. Qasim seems to be very much worried about the economic conditions of the Kashmir. He has mentioned his anxiety in his various writings. He says economic imbalance that has come into light in Kashmir particularly from last 26 years has endangered whole society. The signs of slight clashes between the well-off and deprived are coming into light often and growing crime rate and prostitution are visible signs of this clash. This battle between ‘haves and have nots’ presently in its initial stages if fails to get attention of ruling establishment, political leaders, scholars and intellectuals will destroy entire civil society. This clash will come into light very widely in coming years. According to him the society with economic imbalance always paves way for corruption, crime and spiritual and moral degradation and it also encourages hatred, perplexity, enmity and hostility among the people and discourages the values necessary for the development and prosperity of the state like, brotherhood, love, mutual understanding and the feelings of sympathy and well-wishing etc that is what we are seeing in Kashmir today. He says that when the objective of a person is to earn money/wealth then he will not care for what is lawful and what not, he will adopt even evil means to mint money he will not bother even if his money minting practices are harming entire society. He not only pointed out reasons and causes responsible for this imbalance but also suggested remedies and policies which can control causes responsible for this imbalance. The causes for this economic imbalance which worries him are mainly three which are of basic importance. 1. The system of Zakah paying and distributing does not exist in the state. 2. The evil practice of storing the money in the form of gold and silver, buying extra land, houses and keeping money in deposits in banks and trunks by Muslims. 3. Economic responsibilities unnecessarily taken by the women who are sharing government and private jobs with men when it is obvious that income of 95 percent working women is only extra income for their families. All the three reasons are briefly discussed here. Dr. Qasim thinks that group of rich businessmen in Kashmir have economic monopoly that is why instead of common people it is the same group of businessmen which gets major share of the government offered economic benefits with the help of corrupt politicians particularly in last 25 years due to lack of accountability and transparent economic policy they looted and plundered economic sources and created huge assets. On the other side is a class of people which hardly efforts two time meal for themselves. It is this section of the society which suffered most in the war like situation as 90% of those killed in Kashmir since 1989 were from this section, this section was already living below poverty line when they lost their bread earners their condition worsens further. According to him poverty was here in Kashmir in past also but economic imbalance which we are witnessing today was not here and crime due to poverty was unknown to Kashmiris. 30000 widows, 200000 orphans, 8000 disappeared youth and other destitutes have worsened further the economic situation in Kashmir since the Zakah system (collection and distribution of Zakah in a disciplined manner) is not existing in Kashmir it has created economic anarchy in the state, people who are rich and sound are either unaware of Zakah obligations or do not want to pay it and out of 20% who owns nisab forZakah only 3% to 4% are paying their Zakah although some rich people are doing charity work but these individual efforts can neither solve problems of widows and orphans nor it can check economic imbalance in the state. He suggests comprehensive way out to solve this problem in the state he says religious organizations and NGO’s should join hands and establish Zakah Institution at state and district level, aimah of mosques can play very important role in the said institution by preaching obligation and importance of Zakah in Islam among the people in this programme the ‘ulama, scholars, social workers men from media and other responsible citizens too can contribute their services for this humane and pious cause. He is of the opinion that in addition to Zakah there is also a right for the poor in the wealth of rich persons as for as economic teachings of Islam are concerned. While severely criticizing those who do not pay Zakah he says that those who are not paying Zakah are only storing fuel of hell for themselves. He further says that wherever there arises economic imbalance, government fails to distribute its economic sources and services in a just manner chaos and anarchy will convert the state into a battle field which will definitely effect every member of the society and it will split people between haves and have-nots, it is quite natural that when people are not feeling economically secure they will adopt every evil and unlawful means to earn their livelihood thus, will endanger peace and prosperity of the state. Dr. Qasim seems to be very annoyed that people are storing and blocking their money in bank accounts, bank lockers, by storing gold and silver and purchasing extra land and buildings according to him it stops necessary circulation of the money which is very important for the economic welfare of the people. He further adds that from Islamic view point it is not permissible for any person to froze or block his money because it is a sought of wastage of money. Since in Kashmir people are still afraid to adopt new ways and means of business thus, they prefer to freeze their money in banks or by purchasing gold. Dr. Qasim is of the firm belief that for the economic prosperity of people, people should invest their money in the business so that the circulation of money benefits common people as is evident that circulation of the money always create new sources and services of livelihood. He believes and believes on the basis of his experience that the earnings of 95% women is the extra income for their families thus it also creates financial problem for men as the increase in the unemployment graph of men will always grow. Since the responsibility of earning livelihood for the family is on men and they are the main source of income for their families is it not unfair that male member of the one family is unemployed and in his neighborhood both the members (male and female) of the family are employed? Thus He suggests that the government as well as private jobs must be given only to men and only in exceptional cases where woman is responsible for the livelihood of her family should be given job. These are the some solutions which according to him should be given priority to make bread for all practically possible. He considers Marxism superficial and unrealistic so declares its slogan of economic equality a mirage. His views regarding social reformation: Dr Qasim considers human society as a boat if some passengers of the boat are trying to make a hole in the boat and other passengers instead of stopping them are behaving like spectators it is obvious that if boat sinks it will not only sink those responsible for making hole but the spectators also who did not stop them. His opinion is that the responsibility of welfare and prosperity of a society lies on every person irrespective of religion, cast and creed. Although he in his writings has comprehensively discussed and keenly monitored the reasons responsible for anarchy, moral degradation and social disturbance in the society, here in this brief paper we will mention only important points of his social philosophy. He considers five things as the basic principles of the good society. i. People must have freedom of religion and thought. ii. Irrespective of religion everyone in the society must have security to his life, wealth and honour. iii. People from all religions should get equal opportunities for their economic prosperity. iv. In spite religious differences there must be harmony, brotherhood, love, co-operation and feelings of kindness to each other among the people. They must give priority to collective betterment over individual interests and should work jointly for the progress and prosperity of the society. v. The ruling leaders must be pious and honest. According to him if any society lacks even only one of these virtues neither there will be neither peace nor prosperity. Regarding the welfare and prosperity of the society he considers it responsibility of all these sections of the society as he says wherever in the society rulers, scholars and teachers in this media age one should put journalists also in this sphere failed to understand and deliver their duties and failed to point out the evil practices and evil doers in the society and lacked courage to reform the society who will save such society from political, economic, social and moral destruction? One who does not consider himself accountable to anyone should not expect accountability from others also it is this lack of accountability which ruins whole society. It seems he considers theologians, intellectuals, teachers and journalists responsible for the reformation of the society he calls them guardians of good and prosperous society. He is annoyed and feels restlessness because of rise in crime and obscenity in Kashmir. His opinion is that it is impossible for police to curb this flourishing crime and obscenity and that too when politicians top police officials and bureaucrats are themselves involved in crime and malpractices and nexus between politicians, police officials and criminals is obvious. He blames materialistic approach of the people for this moral degradation according to him majority of people did not bother for their life hereafter they want to earn money by every means lawful or unlawful and want to enjoy luxurious life this worldly approach naturally weakens spiritual and moral values of the people, another important factor responsible for this moral degradation where prostitution, crime, narcotic business and incidents of rap are flourishing like anything is Hollywood Bollywood movies and pornography. The situation in Kashmir regarding crime and moral degradation is very alarming responsible persons from all spheres of life have to come forward to discourage and stop this crime trend in Kashmir. Dr. Qasim a kindhearted person by nature and feels restlessness regarding orphans,widows and other families who have lost their bread earners. He did not consider it right that the solution to the problems of widows is to arrange employment for them so that they can earn their livelihood respectfully. He has different opinion in this regard he says that, widows are not eating machines so they need only to fill their bellies but human beings she has her sentiments aspirations and natural requirements thus, she needs a sympathetic and affectionate companion who will share her joys and sorrows, take care of her necessities, fulfill her natural desires and becomes her guardian. The simple question arises here is that can Rs. 1500/- or 2000 monthly income or help will solve her mundane problems and natural demands? Their problems cannot be solved even by making widow homes for them. He suggests that we should solve this issue humanitarianly. He is of the opinion- that this issue can only be solved as economically sound persons (married or unmarried) should marry these widows. Although it is impossible to convince unmarried youth to marry these widows that too when widow is having two or three children thus, only option is that economically sound married persons should take these widows as their second wives. The reasons of allowing polygamy to men in Islam are obvious that it will solve the problem of widows as well as of orphans. Dr. Qasim warns people that if they fail to address the problems of widows it will be disastrous for the whole society. While paying high tributes to those social workers who are running orphan houses to provide schooling and boarding to orphans he considers these orphan houses not only last option to solve the problems of orphans but he thinks it is not ideal way to solve their problems according to him child by nature and for his smooth growth needs parents as he needs food and cloths, it is affection and love of mother and admonition of father which gives child smooth mental and physical growth and polishes his natural abilities it is sense of deprivation in which they find themselves that always effects their natural growth. It is this sense of deprivation that makes them envious to other children. His pain and anguish reaches its heights when he sees any child doing shoe polishing, selling match boxes and candles etc. To solve the problem of orphans he suggests two solutions. 1. People with enough income should marry widows having children with them and keep them with their own children. 2. Or people should adopt orphans and become their guardians and do their schooling as they do for their own children there must be no discrimination between them. He 'seems very concerned regarding another growing problem in Kashmir that is of sectarian conflict according to him some shortsighted scholars/people are propagating rigid sectarian interpretation of Islam which will ultimately pave way for sectarian conflict in future this Salfi and Hanfi conflict which is presently in infancy will grow up in future he says since ahl-Hadith (followers of Salfi school of thought) are very rigid as for as secondary teachings (far’u) of Islam are concerned while on the other hand Hanfi (followers of Hanfi school of thought) are not rigid but the situation has now changed due to mushrooming of Deobandi Dar-al-UIum in Jammu Kashmir. Dr. Qasim has some reservations about Deobandi schools he says although Deobandi scholars have every right to propagate Hanfi interpretation of Islam for which they have established thousands of Madaris everywhere in the state but at the same time he predicts that this flourishing Deobandi culture will damage the Kashmir society in two way a) As everyone knows that Deobandi scholars are not only very rigid followers of their school of thought they are biased also towards other schools of Islam and consider other schools particularly Salfi people as astray thus, with the preaching of Hanfi interpretation of Islam among the masses they will also pass on to them their rigidity and prejudice towards other schools of thought which will ultimately make Hanfi masses hitherto broadminded rigid and biased towards others. We can see this impact of Deobandi influence at various places no doubt at micro level but it will increase by every passing day thus one cannot rule out the sectarian clashes in future b) Another negative aspect of flourishing Deobandi culture is that politically it will consolidate Indian Congress here in Jammu and Kashmir, relation between Deoband school and Indian Congress is old and strong and affiliation of its scholars with Indian Congress exists even today at highest level thus it is evident Deoband history will support this claim that Indian Congress which hitherto fails to establish their popular base particular in Kashmir will gain political footage and this is disastrous aspect ofDeobandi culture particularly in a situation when people of Kashmir are sacrificing every thing to get rid of Indian occupation. While appealing to intellectuals particularly to intellects of generation next Dr. Qasim suggests them that they should study Islam in its universal perspective and not through sectarian view point. Once he was asked question that what is the remedy of sectarian clashes which are shattering the foundations of Pakistan he replied that until and unless we change curriculum which is being taught in Salfi and HanfiMadaris these sectarian clashes will remain there, it is this sectarian rigidity and prejudice which is not only damaging unity of Muslim Ummah but it effects Dawah work also and both sects are wasting millions on publishing sectarian literature to score over each other. Dr. Qasim known for his moderate approach as for as differences of various schools of thought are concerned was asked about his moderate approach towards different sects that, how he managed to keep his moderate approach alive even when he was born in a Salfi family? With smile on his face he answered, by the grace and favour of Almighty Allah, since I was born at Zaldagar Srinagar famous centre of ahl-Hadith school of thought thus till 1987 in spite of having little knowledge about Islam but being ahl-Hadith I used to be rigid about sectrain issues. but when 1 got benefited from MaulanaShahabdinAndrabiQasmi (Father in law of Dr. Qasim), Mufti Faiz-al-Wahid Qasmi, MaulanaAbd-al-AhadNadvi, Mufti GhulamRasulQasmi and MaulanaYunusQasmi from whom I studied nahaw, saraf, tafsir, hadith, fiqh, and other Arabic subjects (Note: Dr. Qasim didn't study any book from his father-in-law but was benefited from him a lot). Except Abd-al-AhadNadvi all other teachers were of the same thought regarding the maslak which we have discussed above but the important change I got due to these teachers is that my rigidity as a ahl-Hadith declines but the sea change took place only when I enrolled myself in Department of Islamic Studies in Kashmir University as a research scholar there I came to firm belief that it is Islam's universal message not sectarian interpretation we need to propagate not only in non-Muslims but in Muslims too and propagation of sectarian interpretation of Islam is not only harming Muslim unity but it will always lead us to sectarian clashes it is due to respected and reputed teachers of Islamic Studies Department particularly my guardian and teacher Prof Dr. SayyidYunusGilani I came out of sectarian well and learnt universal message of Islam and knew irrelevance of sectarian priorities. It is because of this moderate approach Dr. Qasim is acceptable to both Salfi and Hanfi masses every Muslim irrespective of his/her maslak respects him, reads and listens him. It seems it was his moderate outlook that, in 2000 when he was offered president ship of Jami'atahl-Hadith by some Salfi members of the said organization he instead of accepting this reputed position in haste put forth some suggestions which were not accepted by its members thus, he rejected the offer. Those suggestions would have changed Jami'atahl-Hadith in a movement of renaissance instead of its present position of sectarian organization. His political views: Dr. Qasim's political views regarding Kashmir are based on historical realities, justice and logic. He doesn't consider Dogra ruler Hari Singh as public representative thus, rejects his decision of accession to India. He is of the opinion that Indian National Congress with the help of Shaikh Abdullah created such atmosphere for Hari Singh which ultimately forced him to sign document of accession even he himself was not mentally prepared for that he was very much confused about the future of Kashmir and it was assurance given by Shaikh Abdullah to him which encouraged him to take decision of accession, which was not only against the principle of partition but in every aspect against the wishes of the masses of Kashmir. At the same time Dr. Qasim did not accept this cooked history that Indian forces landed in Kashmir only after the document of accession was signed by Hari Singh while quoting an authority on Kashmir Alastair Lamb in his book mentions that Indian forces were already here and they even received their companions on 27th of Oct, 1947. He raises million dollar question when he asked Indian rulers that, they are asking Hurriyat Conference leadership to prove their representative character what about Hari Singh? Was he elected representative of Kashmiri people? How his decision of accession was accepted? If as a ruler he had a right to take such decision what about ruler of Junagarh why his decision to accede Junagarh to Pakistan was not accepted by Indian rulers Another irrelevant aspect of this so called accession is that Hari Singh signed the document of accession at a time when public movement against him was on its peak and he was forced to quit Kashmir and he signed the document only after quitting Kashmir. I do not think after knowing these historical realties any sane and just person can say that, Hari Singh's decision of accession has any legal or moral standing. According to Dr. Qasim battle between people of Kashmir and Indian rulers is basically battle between history of Kashmir and Indian occupation. Universal truth about history that it repeats itself will deliver its part in Kashmir also and once history of Kashmir repeats itself India will be forced and forced by circumstances to quit Kashmir thus, one has to wait and see how long Indian might be able to stop history of Kashmir from its repetition. He advocates that while taking history of Kashmir into consideration this problem must be solved according to the wishes of Kashmiri people as has been promised by India's first Prime Minister Pandit Nehru from 1947 till his demise (1962) he repeatedly took pledges before the world, Pakistani rulers, Indian parliament and people of Kashmir. He used to say as soon as peace restores in Kashmir people of Kashmir will be given right to decide their future. Dr. Qasim argues that demanding plebiscite in Kashmir is in other words demand to Indian rulers that they should fulfill promises of their first prime minister Pandit Nehru regarding future of Kashmir; he further says one fails to understand how it has become crime in Kashmir to demand plebiscite. He is very disgusted with the political leaders of the state, he says it were Shaikh Abdullah, Ghulam Muhammad Bakhshi and Ghulam Muhammad Sadiq and then Faruq Abdullah, Mufti Sayid and Ghulam Nabi Azad now who are giving political shield to Indian military occupation here in Kashmir, he writes further that for mere power and personal interests the state political leader mislead Indian government about ground realities on Kashmir particularly regarding the wishes of people resulting Indian government repeatedly instead of finding solution to this humane problem indulged itself in solving the superficial and secondary problems/issues in Kashmir. He pleads that it is not problem in Kashmir but problem of Kashmir which Government of India should address. He blames state Indian leaders for misguiding Indian government that the present situation in Kashmir is unemployment problem it is why Indian leaders are announcing economic packages and job schemes. He while appealing Indian rulers says that Kashmir problem is of political nature thus, must be solved according to the wishes of the people and economic packages cannot heal up political wounds. While discussing universal principle of the state craft Dr. Qasim says that there are ample examples in history and even today we can see it existing that, rulers ruling over their subjects against their wishes merely on the basis of their military might, he says it was easy to rule over subjects against their wishes in past and even today but in all these cases their rule did not continue for long and shall not exist in future too, resistance of oppressed people and sometimes even circumstances forced such oppressors to quit occupied states. Even today mighty rulers can rule directly or through local poodles states and countries but cannot rule over hearts of people. One can subdue everything by might but cannot win a single heart by might. Dr. Qasim while giving the example of India itself says how many kingdoms were established from ChandarGuptMauriyah to king Akbar since they only ruled over the bodies of their subjects today their reference is confined only in history books, on the contrary the kingdoms which were established by the great personalities like GautamBudah, Mahawirah, HazratNizam-ud-din andMoin-ud-din Chistiin hearts of people are still existing and even today they rule infinite number of subjects throughout the world, the prince of Kapilvastau left his superficial empire because he wanted to rule the hearts of the people thus, established an empire which is existing even today. He raises very important question when he says that in last 69 years Indian rulers with all their efforts and tricks have failed to win the hearts of the Kashmiri people, even though spending billions on Kashmir the situation here is that even a single Kashmiri is not ready to allow any Indian political leader or an India Army personnel to enter his house thus, there is a yawning gulf of hatred between India and Kashmir and brutalities of Indian forces are adding to this hatred by every passing day. Dr. Qasim regarding this situation goes even to this extent that from the core of heart the political leaders right from Sheikh Abdullah to Faruq Abdullah were not Indians but they became or pretend to be Indians only because of lust for power. If Kashmiris are given right of self-determination I am of firm belief that Faruq Abdullah will cast his vote in favour of independence and not in favour of India. Since having deep knowledge of history of Kashmir he says that history can be mutilated and can be wrongly interpreted too but it cannot be destroyed thus like Hindu faith of rebirth history repeats itself. While clarifying it he writes that against the wishes of the people, Mughals ruled Kashmir for 167 years, Afgan for 66 years, Sikhs for 27 years and Dogras for about 99 years since, they fail to win hearts of Kashmiri people they were forced by circumstance to quit Kashmir. Dr. Qasim is in full agreement with famous historian PanditKalhan that, Kashmiris cannot be won over by sword. Since Indian rulers have failed and failed miserably to win the hearts of Kashmiri people thus, their rule over Kashmir will not last long. When Indian rulers will accept this bitter truth they will allow Kashmiri people to decide their future, meanwhile they are doing everything to stop history of Kashmir from its repetition. He further says that the result of this battle between history of Kashmir and Indian occupation might emerge very soon, according to him history is not only unbeatable force but judge also and it has to announce its verdict against Indian occupation. Dr. Qasim is also in agreement with the opinion of Raj Mohan Gandhi that to solve the Kashmir issue fairly it is compulsory for the Indian leaders to make aware their subjects about the historical realities of Kashmir at the earliest. In this context Indian print and electronic media has to play vital role. Regarding Kashmir he considers that, may it be so-called accession of Hari Singh (1947), Nehru-Abdullah agreement (1952), Shastri-Ayub agreement (1966), Indra-Bhattu agreement (1972), Indira-Abdullah agreement (1975),Vajpayee-Nawaz agreement (1999), these all agreements failed to solve Kashmir dispute because they did not take into account wishes of Kashmiri people, further he says that even if today any agreement takes place regarding Kashmir between Modi-PPP or Modi-Hurriyat Conference, where wishes of people are ignored it will be one more attempt in futility and this will not change hearts and minds of people about Delhi. Dr. Qasim in his every book and article asks Indian government that they should show sense of wisdom, farsightedness and political vision and should understand and acknowledge aspirations of people and at the same time should go into history of Kashmir, it is only then they can convince themselves to accept the truth about Kashmir. It is solution of Kashmir issue only which can make relations between Pakistan and India cordial and it is this cordial relation between these two neighbours which will ultimately pave the way for Sub-continent's peace and prosperity. Dr. Qasim is first political leader who put forward three point formulas for changing this freedom movement of Kashmir into self reliant movement. 1) After taking the militant organizations into confidence the Hurriyat Conference and other political organizations should draft a bottom line on Kashmir issue when he talks about bottom line one should not misunderstand him that he is advocating any solution with in the sovereignty of India not at all what he mean to say is that there are various options even outside the Indian sovereignty thus political and militant leadership should unanimously choose one of them.2) Political organizations should not accept the monetary help from any government or agency instead of this should raise funds locally 3) They must snap all kinds of relations with the intelligence agencies of Delhi and Islamabad. When he put forth these suggestions before political and militant organizations in his speeches and writings HurriyatConference and other leaders declare all this as mere imagination, but after 9/11 his friends and foes both not only acknowledged his farsightedness but are also talking now about indigenous movement it was his prophecy when he in his famous book Maslai Kashmir kiShar'iHathiyat (published in June 2001) wrote that today or tomorrow Pakistan government will take U turn from Pakistan's traditional stand on Kashmir which is obvious today(Musharaf’s Four point Formulae). Although people are considering 9/11 responsible for this U turn but Dr. Qasim has in detail discussed the reasons which actually led Pakistan government to this U turn in the said book. Actually it was this political farsightedness and practical vision for which he was sentenced for life in a case he was implicated by the state authorities he often says that if 1 would have been given this life imprisonment for my political beliefs and thoughts I would have cheerfully accepted it but the cover of murder which the authorities took and without any witness and only on the basis of so-called confessional statement even after Jammu TADA Court had honourably acquitted him with his two colleagues this hurts lot. Dr. Qasim is first ever Kashmiri scholar and political ideologue who has been sentenced for life solely on the basis of his political views strange aspect of his case is that TADA court acquitted him saying confessional statement has been extracted without following norms for recording the confessional statement and has been recorded under duress conditions. It is also surprising I think it is unique case in the history of TADA court too that lower court is acquitting somebody and apex court is sentencing him for life. From, last 23 years Dr. Muhammad Qasim is languishing behind the bars for his political Views. Not only his family, his wife and little children are in pain and agony but his well wishers too are worried due to his continuous imprisonment people of Kashmir are looking for his earliest release. His religious, educational, political and social services to his community are an open book. In this world of freedom of expression and thought his detention is a question mark on Indian democracy. Here I conclude my paper by the words of JinabSayyid Ali Gilani, Chairman of APHC regarding Dr. Muhammad Qasim. "In Central Jail Srinagar there is our sincere colleague, pious devotee of Islam and freedom fighter Dr. Muhammad Qasim who after acquittal from TADA court, just for political revenge and to keep him away from this oppressed nation and to deprive people of Kashmir from his educational and religious abilities, was sentenced to life imprisonment. His remembrance, his ambition for reformation of society and his wish to liberate this nation will never fade away from our hearts and mind. His continuous imprisonment is a hurdle in our comprehensive work for freedom. It is not beyond the mercy and blessings of Allah Almighty that he comes out from this ordeal” (Eid-al-Zuha. 2005 aur Girdopash-41) Advocate Abdul Matin Chairman, JK Human Rights Guild
24 Years of Imprisonment Dr. Muhammad Qasim The Victim of Political Vendetta
Author :  MuslimDeeniMahaz / 2/4/2017
“It May Be In Your Interest To Be Our Masters But How Can It Be Ours To Be Your Slaves” Shakespeare “Slavery Is Against Civilized Human Nature Thus It Is Our Collective Responsibility To Get Rid Of This Evil Of Slavery” Dr.Muhammad Qasim The unjustified Imprisonment “Dr Muhammad Qasim an outstanding political ideologue and writer of contemporary Kashmir, is suffering incarceration for holding political beliefs that are unacceptable to the ruling establishment and he has been convicted under an infamous anti terrorist legislation in a trial that manifestly was wanting in judicial fairness and overzealous prosecutors employed dubious investigatory methods for collecting materials of evidential value on the basis of which Dr Qasim was ultimately tried and sentenced for life” Sayid Tasaduq Hussain Sr. Advocate JK High court “Analyzing the history of events associated with the trial of Dr Muhammad Qasim who is scholarly figure and has spent his time educating the hundreds of inmates inside jail preparing them for examinations of distance learning courses under IGNOU. Concrete recommendations made by jail authorities for granting him remission. Petitions filed in the JK high court seeking interpretation of the provisions of the jail manual and asking for the reason for selective approach in granting remission in similar cases. But all attempts have failed. The reason is simple, the ruling regimes who have no moral or legal right to remain in power are afraid of him. They have no answer to his arguments. Author of 18 scholarly publications can speak, write and discuss contemporary political problems with clarity. Having not compromised he can speak the truth and nothing but truth which is not permitted in this part of the world. Failing to secure justice under the existing available redressal mechanism, the individual can only be advised to invoke the remedies available under International Humanitarian Law.” Advocate Sayid Arshad Andrabi Human Rights Activist “Actually Dr Muhammad Qasim is committed to the cause of Islam as well as the cause of the oppressed and suppressed people of Jammu and Kashmir and observing his unflinching commitment to this pious cause of the people and his strict adherence to the principles of Islam in addition to his intellectual might and political insight, the Indian establishment at the behest of its local puppets, has decided to break his determination by making him a victim of the political vendetta and framed him under the TADA (P) Act and get him punished for life. I personally feel that that there should be a peaceful public campaign for vindicating the wrongs and the persecution committed by the Indian establishment and the local puppets upon the hapless people of Jammu Kashmir and particularly those languishing in different jails for years together without being impartially heard by anyone, the best example of which is Dr Muhammad Qasim. We all should join hands for mounting an effective pressure upon the government for the release of these political victims.” Advocate Zahid Ali Lone Jama’at-i-Islami Dr. Muhammad Qasim's Brief Case History: Dr. Muhammad Qasim was arrested on 05.02.1993 for his political views but to prolong his detention he was booked u/s 3 (TADA), u/s 302 r/w 120-B RPC.TADA Court Jammu acquitted him and other two accused in the case on 14.07.2001 and made following observation: "The prosecution has miserably failed to prove the case against the accused persons” (File-16, TADA Court Jammu)Government challenged the said acquittal in Supreme Court of India, as it was the case of no evidence no proof no witness turned against the accused, case was thus solely based on "confessional statements" recorded under section 15 of TADA. Supreme Court sentenced the accused for life imprisonment with this important direction at the end of the judgement: "They (accused) shall be given benefit of the period already undergone (undertrial period) by them"(Criminal Appeal No. 889 of 2001) Note:- This direction speaks mind of the Judge, that convicts are entitled for release as per the law established; Government while exercising her prerogative should give convicts benefit of their undergone period. If they have to die in Prison, what is the fun to pass this direction? On completion of 14 years, J&K High Court directed the Jail authorities to place Dr. Muhammad Qasim's case before the Review Board for review of his case. (OWP No. 430/2008 dated 23.5.2008) Review Board while taking into consideration all aspects of the case recommended premature release of Dr. Muhammad Qasim in it’s meeting held on 03.06.2008. J&K Government rejected the Review Board's Recommendations not on the basis of interpretation of the life imprisonment that life imprisonment means imprisonment of convicts whole natural life but on the basis of J&K Jail Manual Rule 54.1 which according to Government debars TADA lifer convicts from release on completion of two thirds (14 years) of 20 years. (Govt. order No. Home-773(P) of 2009 dated 14.9.2009). High Court Judge Mr. Mansoor Ahmad Mir quashed the impugned order and directed the Government to consider the case on the basis of J&K Jail Manual: “Keeping in view the discussion made hereinabove read with law laid down by the Apex Court, the respondents had to consider the case of the petitioner in terms of the Jail Manual and law laid down by the Apex Court.” "Viewed thus, the writ petition is allowed impugned order is quashed and respondents are directed to consider the case of the petitioner as indicated above and made a decision." (OWP No. 997/2009 dated 5.6.2010) Government challenged the said order before the double bench of the High Court. The said bench in its judgment observed as under: "The petition as highlighted warrants favourable consideration but impediment in the way of respondent (writ petitioner) is the scope of Rule 54.1 of the J&K Jail Manual which orders him ineligible" Note:- There is no mention of interpretation of the life imprisonment that, life imprisonment mean; imprisonment for convict's whole natural life. 29. "The disentitlement of the respondent (writ petitioner) for remission of his sentence in terms of Rule 54.1 of the Jail Manual does not deprive him from working out other remedies." 31. "Irrespective of the provision i.e. section 401 and 402 of the State Code of Criminal Procedure, which corresponds to section 432 and 433 of the Central Code, the power of the executive is absolute and unfettered to remit sentence" (LPA No. 120/2010, dated 08.09.2011) Our Case: Brief Summary We do not dispute that, it is the prerogative of the Government to remit or commute the sentence of a convict and we need not to discuss the supreme court’s interpretation of life imprisonment because our case is entirely based on JK Jail Manual. JK Jail Manual if debars Dr. Muhammad Qasim from release on completion of 14 years (Government version of the rule 54.1, Chapter LIV JK Jail Manual) the Same Jail Manual makes him eligible for release on completion of 20 years. (21.2, Chapter XXI, 46.18, Chapter XLVI). The million dollar question is does prerogative mean wish or will of the Government or there is an established mechanism through which Government exercise her prerogative! It is the J&K Jail Manual which provides this mechanism. J&K jail Manual says, soon after completion of 14 years ( 2/3 of 20 years [chapter LIV, 54.2, (VI)C ] ) Jail authorities should forward the case of lifer to Review Board for review, after taking into consideration every aspect of the case said board if finds merit, shall make recommendations for convicts release to the Government and Government may order the release of the convict (J&K Jail Manual : Chapter XXI, 21.21, 22, 23). Since 1947 every lifer convict was released by the Government once Review Board recommended his/her case. In Dr. Muhammad Qasim's case same procedure was followed, his case was forwarded to Review Board soon he completed 14 years, Review Board after review of his case recommended his release to the Government. Government on the basis of J&K Jail Manual Rule 54.1 rejected the Review Board's recommendations. Important question here is that Government does not reject the Review Board's recommendations by saying life is life or it is our prerogative exclusively to remit the sentence or otherwise? But Government in it's order dated 14.09.2009 (Govt. order No. Home-773(P) of 2009) said J&K Jail Manual debars Dr. Qasim! Justice Mansoor Mir in his order dated 05.06.2010 OWP No. 997/2009, not only quashed the impugned order but directed the Government to consider the case afresh. Government challenged the said order before the double bench of the High Court. Double bench in it's order dated 08.09.201 I (LPA No. 120/2010) while set asiding the single bench order said life sentence according to J&K Jail Manual is 20 years and J&K Jail Manual Rule 54.1 debars Dr. Qasim from release on completion of two-thirds (14 years) of 20 years. Clear Case of Political Vendetta ! The question is why Government is not exercising her prerogative (Sec. 401, 402 CrPc) for Dr. Muhammad Qasim, even when he has completed the period of 23 years and his case has been already recommended by the Review Board for release? Prerogative is not wish or will of the Government there must be a legal ground for the Government for not exercising the prerogative ! For example ; when Government rejected the Review Board recommendations for Dr. Muhammad Qasim's release in 2008 in it's order reason given was Rule 54.1 of J&K Jail Manual, on completion of 20 years Government again rejected the representation of Dr. Muhammad Qasim but this time in it's order (dated 23.08.2012) no reason was given, but the interpretation of life imprisonment, that life imprisonment means life imprisonment of convict's whole life, very important question here is that, this interpretation of life imprisonment is not applicable to any particular case but to all life convicts, how does than Government release lifer convicts every year? Is it not misuse of prerogative that Government exercise her powers to release lifer convicts every year, but when it is a case of a convict whose political views are unacceptable to the Government, Government refuse to exercise it's prerogative to order his release?
‘Kashmir struggle is based on two-nation theory, not UN resolutions’. Dr Qasim spoke to Kashmir Narrator recently at Srinagar’s SMHS Hospital.
Author :  MuslimDeeniMahaz / 12/22/2016
‘Kashmir struggle is based on two-nation theory, not UN resolutions’ Dr Mohammad Qasim Faktoo is Kashmir’s longest serving prisoner. Born in downtown Srinagar in 1967, he has spent around 23 years in jail. It was jail, where he did his post-graduation and then doctorate in Islamic studies. He believes that the solution to Kashmir dispute does not lie in granting independence to the disputed state but its complete merger with Pakistan. Dr Qasim spoke to Kashmir Narrator recently at Srinagar’s SMHS Hospital, where he had been brought for medical check-up. Excerpts: Kashmir Narrator: Let’s begin with the recent agitation in Kashmir, which broke out after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani and two of his associates on 8 July. Around 100 people were shot dead by police and paramilitary forces, nearly 20,000 injured, while 8,000 were arrested. Not only the government and its host of agencies, even some resistance leaders were caught off guard by the uprising. What was your initial reaction when the agitation started? Dr Qasim: My initial reaction was that the timing of uprising was not appropriate, mainly because of two reasons. Firstly, it’s Syria and Daesh that dominate the attention of the world community, not Kashmir. Secondly, political instability in Pakistan will not allow its government to launch an aggressive diplomacy against India. But then you’ve to understand that the uprising was a people’s initiative, a spontaneous movement. Soon after Burhan’s martyrdom, people came out on the streets on their own, and the leadership got dragged into it. No one can predict or stop such spontaneous uprisings. KN: How was 2016 agitation different from those of 2008 and 2010? DQ: Like 2008 and 2010, this uprising too was reactionary in nature. Only difference being that the 2008 uprising erupted with a short term goal—to force government to withdraw its order to allot 800 kanals of land to Amarnath Shrine Board. After government withdrew the land transfer order, the people of Kashmir had a sense of achievement, which actually prepared them for the 2010 uprising. But as no short-term goal was set for the 2010 uprising, people got disappointed and dejected. Same has happened this time as well. The Indian media and Indian stooges in Kashmir are already saying ‘Ab kya hasil huva’. I would like to ask the Indian media a simple question: What did their leadership achieve by launching the Non-Cooperation Movement, the Civil Disobedience Movement and the Quit India Movement? To the Indian stooges in Kashmir, my question is: What are you achieving by offering Salah and keeping fast during Ramadan? These Indian stooges who do not believe in the Hereafter measure every human sacrifice by worldly means and gains. I see many positive things in these uprisings particularly in 2016 uprising. KN: Like the previous agitations, there were moments of hope and hopelessness as well among the people. Even Syed Ali Geelani, who was issuing protest calendars along with Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik, got carried away by the street intifada when he said that ‘azadi is round the corner.’ Four months later, as fatigue set in among the people given the scale of repression by the state, it appeared that the leadership had lost the plot. Geelani was asking the intellectuals to suggest how to carry the movement forward. Don’t you think the resistance leadership was operating without any homework? DQ: As I said earlier, the 2016 uprising was a people’s initiative. So where does question of homework arise? Leadership was dragged into it. In my opinion the biggest mistake leadership committed was that it did not set achievable targets for this uprising. Once you’ve short-term targets before you and you’re able to achieve them, it gives you a sense of confidence and hope. It keeps sentiments for long-term goals alive, and at the same time it provides pro-active character to the movement. KN: In your view, what are the positives and negatives of the 2016 agitation? DQ: The most positive thing of the uprising was death of PDP. It took people of Kashmir 50 years (1938-1988) to demolish National Conference’s political and social sanctity. The PDP, which was founded by Indian intelligence agencies as an alternative to the National Conference to keep the people of Kashmir engaged with the Indian political institutions (Assembly and Parliament), lost its political and social sanctity in just 17 years (1999-2016). 2016 was the year of PDP’s death. Other positive thing was that the anger against India’s occupation was displayed by both men and women with passion. It was a befitting reply to the Indian propaganda that there is a small group of people who at the behest of Pakistan is talking about azadi. This mass indigenous movement made it loud and clear that people of Kashmir want freedom from India. There was display of unity both at leadership and public level, disciplined relief distribution work, and above all the people made it clear to the rulers of India that their brutalities or economic packages can’t kill or buy our sentiment for azadi. Having said that, there are some concerns as well. For example, this uprising failed to demolish India’s political writ in Jammu Kashmir, which exists in the form of MLAs, MLCs, etc. It failed to build pressure on bureaucrats and police officers to resign, and it became clear yet again that we lack effective international diplomatic front. I must insist that Pakistan’s Kashmir Committee under the chairmanship of Molvi Fazlur Rehman has been a big disappointment. It should be closed. The most positive thing of 2016 uprising was death of PDP. It took people of Kashmir 50 years (1938-1988) to demolish National Conference’s political and social sanctity. The PDP, which was founded by Indian intelligence agencies as an alternative to the National Conference to keep the people of Kashmir engaged with the Indian political institutions (Assembly and Parliament), lost its political and social sanctity in just 17 years (1999-2016). 2016 was the year of PDP’s death. KN: You are Kashmir’s longest serving prisoner, with 23 years in jail now. Do you think you and your family’s sacrifice is worth, given that there is no dearth of so-called resistance leaders who have covertly or overtly betrayed the struggle? Why don’t you call off your struggle? DQ: We are accountable before Allah not for results we achieve but for the efforts we put in. I am not here to seek reward or acknowledgement from people for my sacrifices. Whatever my family and I have done for the resistance movement is to appease Allah alone. It has been proved time and again that the whole Millat Islamia of Kashmir is with this movement, so there is no question of calling it off. We well prefer to perish from the face of the earth than to succumb to India’s imperialistic designs. Nor are we going to accept India as our nation. We are here to resist Indian occupation by all indigenous means. When India is not ready to quit its illegal occupation of Jammu Kashmir why should we give up our just and legitimate resistance? KN: You’re an ardent advocate of Kashmir’s merger with Pakistan. In your writings you passionately argue that Pakistan is the second country that was formed in the name of Islam after Madinah. But even after seven decades of independence, Pakistani rulers have failed to implement Shariah in their country. DQ: Today or tomorrow Pakistan will emerge as an Islamic State, because secularism in Pakistan will undo the two nation theory on which the country was created. Pakistan’s importance as an Islamic state can be understood only by knowing history of Hindu India, culture of India and particularly by understanding Hindutva’s designs about Islam and Muslims in the subcontinent. KN: Are you in favour of holding a plebiscite in Kashmir in line with the UN-backed resolutions? How confident are you that Kashmiris will choose Pakistan over India? DQ: UN resolutions do not form the base of our freedom movement; it is just a supportive mechanism. The historical base of our movement is the two-nation theory. To put it in simple words, Kashmir remains an unfinished agenda of Partition. Indian National Congress was against merger of Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Junagadh and Hyderabad with Pakistan, because all these states had a Hindu majority. If that was the case, how could a Muslim majority Jammu Kashmir remain with India? It is against the very principles on which Partition took place. KN: Is independent Kashmir a possible solution? DQ: Not for me. KN: Is there any room in your struggle for many ‘secular’ Kashmiris who are offering sacrifices for azadi too, though for political reasons and not religious as you would have liked? DQ: Whosoever believes that Indian occupation of Jammu Kashmir is illegal and illegitimate and is ready to resist it, we can cooperate with them on issue-based lines. KN: There is too much debate on Article 370. Is it a protection to Kashmiris or a tool for assimilation into the Indian Union? DQ: This debate is a non-issue for those who are resisting Indian occupation. KN: You once said that participating in elections under the Indian constitution is ‘kufr’ (blasphemy). Aren’t you doing takfeer (declaring a Muslim to be out of the fold of Islam) and making it lawful to shed their blood? DQ: Yes, I stand by what I said. Participation in elections under the Indian constitution tantamount to shirk (polytheism). But doing takfeer is entirely different thing. People in Jammu Kashmir do not know that it is polytheistic act to participate in assembly and parliamentary elections. Pro-occupation stooges here are befooling them by saying it is just bijli, sadak and paani like issues they want to deal with. So it is jahalat (ignorance) which saves them from takfeer. There are four excuses (uzrat) on the basis of which one can be spared from being declared out of the fold of Islam—jahal, jabar, khata and tawil. So I am not doing takfeer of common people. But those who know sovereignty is with Allah alone and even then assign it to humans by making them lawmakers that too when they are unbelievers and oppressors, I doubt their faith. KN: Many resistance leaders including Syed Ali Geelani have condemned the Daesh as an anti-Islam outfit. You’ve however so far refrained from making any comment on the Daesh. Does you silence means endorsing the group and its activities? DQ: Yes, I have not made any comment on the Daesh. The Holy Qur’an says: ‘Say not or do not or witness not that of which you have no knowledge’ (al-Isra-36). Therefore, how can I make a comment on something about which I know nothing? KN: Do you welcome the return of migrant Kashmiri Pandits to the Valley, whether in separate colonies or to their original places? DQ: When we are not responsible for their migration, how can we invite them to return? It is their right and choice to decide whether they want to return or not. KN: In the wake of 2016 agitation, many youth are joining militant ranks. What will be your advice to them since you’ve in the past said that “militants are neither able to abolish India’s writ, nor are they able to create any problem for the Indian Institutions”? DQ: I have no idea of the present ground situation as I am behind the bars from last 23 years. So it is the leadership of United Jihad Council that has to decide how to make the armed struggle result-oriented. KN: What is your analysis of former RAW chief A.S Dulat’s book titled Kashmir: The Vijpayee years. He has named a number of pro-freedom leaders being close to him and alleged that some have been on the payroll of Indian agencies. How far do you think these revelations are true? DQ: What Dulat has revealed in his book was already revealed by various newspapers on different occasions. So it does not add any new information to my knowledge. It is moral duty of those who were accused by Dulat of having relations with him to clarify their position. For me it is against Islamic teachings to have any kind of relationship with the politicians and intelligence and police officers of an enemy country. KN: Did Dulat ever try to meet you? DQ: No. KN: Dulat has in his book blamed you for “radicalising” the youth inside Srinagar’s central jail. How far is that true? DQ: I fail to understand what he means by radicalization. If he means to say I am motivating youth to resist Indian occupation then I do not find any wrong in it. I feel proud of it. But if he means that I am preaching sectarianism, then he’s terribly wrong. I have been preaching against sectarianism, and everybody knows it. KN: In an interview earlier this year you alleged there are some pro-freedom leaders who feign house arrests while they are enjoying the freedom of movement anywhere in the world. But you didn’t name them. Do you still want them to be part of the resistance movement? Your wife and Dukhtaran-i-Millat chairperson Asiyah Andrabi has also insisted that “deadwood needed to be removed from the freedom movement.” DQ: We know that in the past government used to put under house arrest only those leaders whose imprisonment would have endangered their life or would have created law and order problem. But it has now become a routine; even activists are claiming that they have been put under house arrest particularly when situation demands them to play an active role. I shall not ask them to quit resistance movement. Who am I to ask anyone to quit the movement? But I sincerely ask them to give up this drama, as it only damages their credibility. By remaining under house arrest one can’t become Geelan Sahab. KN: Some people describe you as Ibn Taymiyyah of Kashmir. How much are you influenced by his writings? DQ: No, no I am not Ibn Taymiyyah of Kashmir. I am his follower; I try to follow him in letter and spirit. I feel proud to be the first student of Kashmir who did M. Phil and then Ph.D on Ibn Taymiyyah. I request Kashmiri youth to read, understand and follow him, as he is the only mujadid (in a wider and complete application of the word) Muslim world has produced till date. Yes, he has influenced me a lot. I always keep his biography with me. KN: There is a perennial debate whether Kashmir’s azadi movement is a political or a religious one. Since you advocate that it is a religious struggle, what is the basis of your argument? DQ: This question is irrelevant for those who do not believe in separation of religion and politics. This question is based on secular concept of life and only secularists can debate on this. For me, this resistance movement is as sacred as worshipping Allah, just as offering Salah and keeping Ramadan fast. Whole Qur’an is proof of it. KN: You have spent half of your life in jail. Do you want your children to follow your footsteps, and how far are they willing to be a part of the movement? DQ: My wife and I want our two sons to serve the movement after completion of their studies. As you know my elder son, Muhammad Bin Qasim, was 6-months-old when we were arrested in 1993. In 1999, when I was rearrested after a year and half of freedom, the other son, Ahmad Bin Qasim, was just two-months-old. Asiyah too has spent more than eight years in different prisons and she is very busy with her religious, academic, social and political engagements. Both our sons have been deprived of parental love and care. KN: You advocate that Syed Ali Geelani should be taken as a leader of the movement. Since he is very old and not keeping well, who do you want to be the leader in his absence or, for that matter, after his death? DQ: Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai Sahab should succeed Geelani Sahab. To put this question in a wider application I would like to say that, whosoever is resisting Indian occupation with Islam as his inspiration is Geelani’s successor. KN: You recently asserted that joining government services here is unlawful ‘according to Shariah’. It sparked a heated debate in local newspapers. Do you still hold your views, given that tens of thousands of Kashmiris are working in the government as they don’t have a viable alternative? DQ: If Indian occupation is illegitimate, elections which are taking place here are also illegal and illegitimate. A government which emerges out of this occupation is illegal and illegitimate too. The child born of illegitimate relationship is an illegitimate child. It is not only my belief that to serve an occupational government is haram. In 1922 more than 500 Indian scholars in their fatwa declared it haram to become member of the British legislative councils and to serve British government particularly in the army and police. There are scores of Quranic verses which strictly prohibits Muslims from serving unbelievers and oppressors particularly when they are at war with Muslims. The question is if you believe that Indian occupation is illegitimate, so is her government. If you consider India oppressor, how can you serve it? Only 5 percent of our population is working in the government. What about 95 percent? How are they earning their livelihood? KN: You launched your organization Muslim Deeni Mahaz some years ago. Why did you start it as there are already a plethora of outfits? You yourself denounce raising more than one mosque in a locality. What then prompted you to start your own organization? DQ: There are only two cadre-based religious organisations in Kashmir, rest are religious and political groups. The problem with these two organisations is that one of them believes in separation of religion and politics; its track record will tell you it is absolutely apolitical organisation and it has never challenged Indian occupation, nor it has ever participated in resistance movement; it is sectarian in its outlook and practice. The other organisation does not believe in separation of religion and politics. But what is shocking is that while its literature condemns secularism and nationalism, it is participating in secular and national elections; it considers Kashmir disputed territory but contests elections within the constitution of India. I believe this ‘organisationalism’ has proved harmful for both dawah work and resistance movement. I believe in Amir and Mamur concept of Islam based on bayat (oath of alliance and obedience) for serving religion and society. I am looking for youth who too believe in Amir and Mamur concept of Islam. The movement I find required number of them I will not hesitate to wind up my outfit.