Ghulam Qadir Wani, former chief of Jamaat-e-Islami
Ghulam Qadir Wani, former chief of Jamaat-e-Islami

SRINAGAR — The former chief of the banned organization Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu Kashmir, Ghulam Qadir Wani, said that the organization will try to participate in the upcoming assembly elections in the union territory provided the ban is revoked by the Government of India.

Ghulam Qadir Wani, while talking to Srinagar-based news agency KDC, said that the Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu Kashmir always believed in the idea of democracy, as he asserted that the organization never gave any call asking people to desist from voting. “We never gave any poll boycott call nor any shutdown call,” he said.

Asked about what prompted the organization to stay away from the electoral battle before being banned, Qadir said, “Our people were fearing to cast their votes due to different circumstances at different times.”

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He also asserted that the members of the banned organization are in constant consultations with New Delhi for revocation of the ban as the organization always wanted democracy to thrive in the region.

“Jamaat is standing on its own, we want to play our role in society. We will fight elections just as we used to before 1987,” he said.

“JeI would focus on socio-religious reforms as a key platform, alongside addressing issues such as drug abuse and increasing immorality,” he said, adding, “We’ll try to nominate our own candidates once the Centre lifts the ban on us. While there are other concerns, the primary condition for our participation in the elections is the revocation of the ban.”

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He said, “A threat has been given as a letter on fake letterhead of Jamaat-e-Islami is being circulated in which it is written that I have recently cast my vote without the approval from the central advisory board and Jamaat has nothing to do with it. This is all fake and baseless. The central advisory board and we all are one, and we are ready to jump into the electoral fray and work for the progress of J&K.”

Pertinently, the Government of India has declared ‘Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu Kashmir’ as an ‘Unlawful Association’ for a further period of five years under Section 3(1) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) 1967.

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