Mirwaiz asks Ravi Shankar to inform Indian people of Kashmir’s real situation

SRINAGAR: Famous spiritual leader and founder of Art of Living Foundation, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, met Kashmir’s senior pro-freedom leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq at his residence here on Friday evening, a statement by Mirwaiz-led Hurriyat Conference read.

The party claimed that Mirwaiz, who is also the chief cleric of Kashmir, raised concerns about the Kashmir dispute during his meeting with Shankar. Mirwaiz reportedly expressed his dismay over silence of the Indian civil society and its intellectuals over the situation in Kashmir, particularly the government plans of making separate colonies for migrant Kashmiri Hindus.

Mirwaiz said India was “not short of positive-thinking individuals” and that it was their humanitarian duty to voice concern over Kashmir situation.

“During the meeting, Mirwaiz… said the ongoing situation in Jammu Kashmir was worrisome and the plans that the government was trying to implement in the state were anti-Kashmir and against the collective interests of the people,” the party statement read.

Over the issue of return of migrant Kashmiri Hindus, popularly known as Kashmiri Pandits, Mirwaiz told Shankar that the migrant Hindus were “an integral part of Kashmiri society” and Hurriyat (amalgam of various pro-freedom groups) had always stood for their dignified return to Kashmir valley.

Mirwaiz said the pro-freedom leaders wanted the migrant Hindus to “once again become a part and parcel of the Kashmiri social milieu.”

“It was unfortunate that even this humanitarian issue was being politicized by certain vested interests and an impression was being created that Kashmiri Pandits were not safe among Kashmiri Muslims which was far from reality,” Mirwaiz said.

Mirwaiz requested the spiritual leader to inform the Indian public of the “real situation of Kashmir” and clear their misconceptions “spread by various media outlets of India with vested interests.”

Mirwaiz said the Indian media outlets never highlight the real situation of Kashmir and instead misled the people about the real issues. He said they were “creating bad blood and misconceptions among them, which needed to be removed.”