SRINAGAR: Several noted Islamic scholars, civil society members, public representatives, youths, and women from different parts of Kashmir discussed ways to counter Pakistan’s propaganda and its attempts to radicalise Kashmiri youth at a national symposium here on Wednesday.
Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha was the chief guest and keynote speaker at the brainstorming session organised at Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre in Srinagar.
The conference saw an open discussion on the exodus of Kashmir Pandits, rectifying past mistakes, role of religious leaders in de-radicalisation, and role and responsibility of civil society to counter attempts of radicalisation in the Kashmir Valley.
The speakers highlighted the teachings of the different religions and unanimously agreed that all religions teach peace, love, amity and communal harmony, implying violence has no place in any religion and civilized society.
They emphasised that peaceful co-existence is the only way to take Kashmiris forward as a society, “creating a safe and bright future for our next generations”.
Addressing the conference, speakers like Shiekh Muzaffar, Mirwaiz Latief, Qari Mohammad Ashraf, Mufti Nisar, Khalida Muntaha and Haji Mohammad Jameel said that there was a downfall in terror activities all across Kashmir but expressed worries over indoctrination and radicalisation of Kashmiri youths by Pakistan.
“Method to counter these tactics used by Pakistan is need of the hour,” they said, adding that Kashmir is known for peace, brotherhood and communal harmony.
The Islamic religious leaders also said that preachers should not be allowed to spew venom and spread jihadist ideology.
Sincere efforts should be made to address feelings of any perceived injustice, the speakers opined.
“Rogue political and community leaders, who are playing to the tune of negative elements and spoilers, should be sternly dealt with as per the law,” one of the speakers said.
Contemporary educational infrastructure with dedicated security cover should be created, they demanded.
Speaking at the event, a female DDC member from Budgam appealed to women to come forward for a change in the Valley.
In his keynote address, LG Manoj Sinha said that his administration was committed to providing all assistance to the people of Jammu and Kashmir and called upon people to focus on working together for the development of Kashmir.
“This is the best time to fight back Pakistani propaganda and the vicious plan of radicalization of Kashmir youth. The youth of Kashmir are the best across India and we won’t let their talent get wasted,” he said.
“Kashmir is witnessing overall development in the electricity sector, education sector as well as in other sectors. 2026 will be the year of Jammu and Kashmir,” the LG added.
Speaking to the media, Sanjay Kumar, chief patron of Jammu and Kashmir Nationalist People’s Front (JKNPF) said the government was working hard for the overall development of Kashmir. “It is now the responsibility of people, especially youth, to come forward and make the change visible on the ground and to touch the heights,” he said.