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Separatist warns of religious extremism

Jamiat-e-Talaba founder Syed Inayatullah Andrabi, who is also the ideological mentor of his hardliner sister Asiya, has called the religious extremism in Pakistan “the original source of all this death and destruction”, from his self-imposed exile in London.

india Updated: Feb 21, 2011 22:32 IST
Peerzada Ashiq

Jamiat-e-Talaba founder Syed Inayatullah Andrabi, who is also the ideological mentor of his hardliner sister Asiya, has called the religious extremism in Pakistan “the original source of all this death and destruction”, from his self-imposed exile in London.

“There exists a mindset locally, i.e. inside Pakistan itself which is the original source

of all this death and destruction, and it is this mindset that the external/internal hand too relies on. It is because of the existence, and increasing power and influence of this mindset that intolerance is fast spreading in Pakistan,” wrote Andrabi, whose organisation Jamiat-e-Talaba was the bedrock of Kashmir’s militancy in 1990.

In an article written on the Mahaz-e-Islami website this month, Andrabi (54) said, “Pakistan was fully engulfed by the menace of religious extremism, and it has the potential to threaten its existence. Innocent people are killed in mosques, Imambarahs, shrines, and other public places.”

This shift in his ideological stance is likely to impact the separatist discourse as widely respected and taken seriously by separatists groups

The Jamiat-e-Talaba was the bedrock of Kashmir’s militancy in 1990.

On the assassination of Pakistan Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer, who was killed for his views on blasphemy, he said: “Though (the) penalty for blasphemy was not debatable, how to penalise the real culprit … was a matter of discussion,” wrote Andrabi.

Andrabi’s piece has drawn both flak and admiration from many of his followers. One comment was: “I’m pleased to see this change in your stance. If you go back to your days at the University of Kashmir, and then as a self-styled leader of (the) Kashmir movement, you will hear many voices pleading you not to sow the seeds of extremism and hatred.”