Poonch (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], January 13 (ANI): A noted Kashmiri political activist on Thursday said Muslims in India enjoy freedom and perform their religious rituals freely, but in Pakistan, minorities are facing persecution.
Agha Syed Abbas Rizvi, the chairman of Jammu Kashmir People's Justice Front (JKPJF) was speaking at a seminar titled 'Freedom to Muslims to carry out their religious ceremonies and customs' at Surankote tehsil of Poonch district.
"India is a secular country and guarantees equal opportunities to minorities, same as to majority", he said.
Agha Syed stressed that the minorities, especially Muslims in India enjoy the same freedom which the majority are enjoying, in performing their religious rituals, ceremonies and customs.
"Kashmir has been the best example of religious tolerance, acknowledged by Mahatma Gandhi too; till our neighbour started interfering and disturbing the peace over here", he said.
He also pointed out that there has not been a single incident of a suicide blast since independence.
"There has not been a single incident of a suicide blast since independence. Unholy as per Quran, unlike happening on daily basis in our neighbouring Islamic country," Agha said.
Elaborating on the issue he said that minorities especially, a Zikri (Shia sect) and Hazara community besides Ahmadis are regularly targeted in Pakistan by death squads.
"People are murdered under a planned genocide program and there are continuous target killing and suicide blasts," he said.
Agha Syed also urged that India, being the home of most Muslims after Indonesia, should be given a place in the OIC group comprising of Muslim countries and shall be given a permanent seat in the said Organization, as India supports the second-largest Muslim population, with dignity.
The Seminar was also attended by various religious and social scholars like Moulana Mukhtar Hussain Jafari, Moulana Zaheer Hussaien Jafari, Agha Syed Mubashir, Shabbir Hussain (Retd Principal), Najmul Hasan, Aziz Jafari, Dr Alamdar Hussain and various others.
In a declaration, it was said, "In India, Muslims are free to perform their religious rituals and duties. The constitution of India guaranteed them so. The tolerant Indian society gives Muslims and other minorities communities a privilege to perform their religious ceremonies and functions without any hurdle. The festivals like Eid, Muharram and Urs of Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti and others are celebrated with peace, unity and brotherhood."It further added, "In Pakistan minorities like Shias and Ahmadis are targeted and killed but in India, even the smallest minorities are protected by the majority." (ANI)