India slams Pakistan envoy’s Deoband remarksDecember 16th, 2008 - 3:55 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Dec 16 (IANS) India Tuesday said the remarks of Pakistan’s permanent representative to the UN seeking to link an Islamic seminary in India to jehadis in Pakistan were “indeed regrettable”.”Statements by the Pakistani permanent representative (Abdullah Hussain Haroon) are indeed regrettable,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Vishnu Prakash said.
“The Darul Uloom Deoband is one of our highly respected institutions of Islamic learning,” he said, alluding to the leading centre of Islamic learning in India in western Uttar Pradesh, located over 100 km from New Delhi.
The spokesperson also said that the Jamiat-Ulama-i-Hind had complained to the external affairs ministry on the matter.
The Jamiat-Ulama-i-Hind, an organisation of leading Muslim clerics in India comprising mainly Deoband clerics, was founded in 1866 and opposed the two-nation theory that became the basis of the creation of Pakistan.
The Ulemas have protested “the language used and aspersions cast” in the statement by the Pakistani diplomat at the UN Security Council during the open debate on Threats to International Peace and Security on Dec 9, the spokesperson said.
“In the protest, it was pointed out that this was a shameful attempt to deflect attention from the real culprits (of the Mumbai terror attacks),” the spokesperson said.
“It is understood that the Jamiat-Ulama-i-Hind has sent protest letters to the Pakistani high commissioner in New Delhi as well as to the United Nations Secretary General,” he added.
Pakistani envoy Haroon had said on Dec 9: “It is for the clerics in Deoband, who wield great influence in the NWFP territories of Pakistan and in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), to come to Pakistan, get together and embed, offer a fatwa in Pakistan against suicide bombings and killings of Muslims in Pakistan as well as in India.”
The Pakistani envoy’s remarks elicited sharp reactions from Darul Uloom, which said it had no sway in the Taliban-controlled areas and that “controlling jehadis in their (Pakistan) territory is their business not ours”.
“Our fatwa applies to the whole world, there is no need to issue a new one,” vice-rector Abdul Khalique Madrasi said.
In February 2008, the Darul Uloom convened a meeting of the clerics and issued a fatwa denouncing terrorism, calling the killings of innocents “haram” (forbidden). The seminary has reiterated this call against terrorism many times since then.