Kashmir youth activists hold conference to revive Sufism

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Jammu, March 5 (IANS) Young activists from the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir on Friday held a conference to revive Sufism and promote peace and coexistence in the Union Territory.

The event which took place in North Kashmir’s Ganderbal district, was conducted by Jammu and Kashmir Youth Development Forum (JKYDF), an organisation comprising young activists from Kashmir. Hundreds of people from all sections of the society attended the event, including writers, journalists, scholars, lawyers and several other Kashmiri activists.

One of the scholars in the audience said, “People of Kashmir, whether Muslims, Pandits and Sikhs or of any other religion, believe in coexistence. This was the reason that Kashmiri Pandits and Sikhs would visit Muslim shrines, and similarly Muslims would throng shrines like Mata Kheer Bhawani temple in Ganderbal.”

The JKYDF plans to reach out to the people at Muslim shrines, and are expected to cover several Hindu and Sikh places of worship as well, calling it a need and a subsequent attempt to re-establish a common syncretic society, where Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and all others can again thrive, just as it was before the advent of Pakistan’s proxy war in Kashmir.

Speaking on the occasion, JKYDF Chairman, Farooq Ganderbali said, “We plan to hold such conferences in other parts of Kashmir in the coming months. Like today’s conference, we will rope in Sufi preachers in future conferences as our aim is to reach out to as many people as possible, especially youth, with the message of peace and coexistence.”

Peace in Jammu and Kashmir has been a top priority for successive Indian governments, however, Pakistan’s repeated attempts to disturb peace efforts have kept both the countries at loggerheads since decades.

Last week, in a ceasefire agreement, the armies of India and Pakistan both announced that they would stop the cross border firing from February 24 midnight in order to bring peace along the border areas. The announcement was made by the Defence Ministry.

“Both sides agreed for strict observance of all agreements, understandings and cease firing along the Line of Control and all other sectors with effect from midnight 24-25 Feb 2021,” the ministry said in a statement.

–IANS

hitesh/rt