Ayodhya mediation failure unfortunate, say Muslims
Iqbal Ansari, the Muslim litigant of Ayodhya, said it was impossible to reach a consensus given the number of stakeholders in the case now.Updated: Aug 02, 2019, 18:01 IST
Muslim litigants and stakeholders have termed the failure of talks to find an amicable solution to the Ayodhya land dispute unfortunate.
“We welcome the Supreme Court’s decision to start day-to-day hearing but we really feel sad over failure of the mediation process. It was an opportunity to seek a permanent solution to the problem but then we seem to have lost it,” said Maulana Khalid Rashid, Imam of Lucknow Eidgah and also a member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB).
Iqbal Ansari, the Muslim litigant of Ayodhya, said it was impossible to reach a consensus given the number of stakeholders in the case now. “We have a total of 25 litigants, eight of which are Muslims and remaining from the Hindu community. Do you think it is possible to bring them all on one platform and make them agree,” he said.
Retired professor Iqtedar Farooqui, who had led a delegation of Muslim civil society group and urged the Ayodhya mediation panel for an amicable settlement, too feels sad that the opportunity has been wasted. “I still feel that Muslims should have agreed to whatever terms and conditions were being offered to them for a peaceful resolution of the dispute,” he said.
Athar Hussein, director of Centre for Objective Research and Development, an NGO, who also participated in the talks, however, was more candid. “I have definite information that majority of the Muslim litigants were willing to settle the issue once and for all as the mediation for the first time had the backing of the country’s top court,” he said. “But a section of the Muslim clergy and so-called leaders, whose very existence depends on prolonging this issue and fighting the court case, scuttled the mediation panel’s effort, which had come very close to a negotiated settlement,” he added.
A supporter of Ram Mandir, controversial chairman of the UP Shia Central Waqf Board Waseem Rizvi, slammed the AIMPLB and die-hard Muslim clergy for prolonging the issue at the behest of “Islamic fundamentalists” both within and outside the country. “You mark my words. I will not allow these ant-national elements to succeed in their design. The Shia Waqf Board would play an active and crucial role in the construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya,” he said.