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Spiritual leader Syed Salman Chishty backs India on the Kashmir issue; lashes out at Pakistan

Geneva: Spiritual leader Syed Salman Chishty of Ajmer criticised Pakistan over misinformation about the abrogation of Article 370 and pronounced that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India.

“Kashmir has always been an integral part of India. There are no ifs and buts about it and there cannot be,” he told news agency ANI at the University of Geneva. He continued, “It’s an opportunity and it’s a way where every Kashmiri should come forward and contribute and embrace this opportunity for the sake of their own children, for the sake of their children’s future and for the sake of Kashmir to be prosperous.”

Chishty belongs to the “Syed o Saddat and Chishty Sufi family of Ajmer Sharif” whose lineage goes back to the Holy Prophet of Islam.

Chishty heavily criticised Pakistan for its deliberate attempt to sabotage the Muslims of Jammu and Kashmir. He said, “Pakistan has their own ideas, their own language that they can use and justify whatever the thing they think about 8 or 9 crore Muslims in Kashmir. When they put these numbers, do they become blind to see 180 million Muslims across India living peacefully, happily contributing to the nation-state building for over hundreds of years? It is their own blindness which restricts them to see the full picture that India is.”

“Kashmir has always been known as the valley of saints. The Sufi, rishi, the bhakti traditions have been so integral. Even today, the Kashmiris who come to the Ajmer Dargah Sharif in winter, they shed tears of longing and belonging when they come to the spiritual solace of Dargah of Khwaja Garib Nawaz. And, they address us as “rishis”, when they come, they don’t use terminology like Syed Sahab or Hadrat. They call us rishis while addressing. So that is the syncretic beauty of Kashmir which has remained for hundreds and thousands of years,” said Chishty.

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