We will participate in assembly elections if Centre revokes ban imposed on us: Former Jamaat-e-Islami J&K Chief

SRINAGAR — Former chief of Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir Ghulam Qadir Wani Wednesday said his organisation will participate in assembly elections if the Centre revokes the ban imposed on the outfit in 2019.

“We are holding talks with the Centre. We want to get our ban removed and we want to play our role in society. If the ban is removed, we may take part in the elections,” Wani told reporters in Pulwama, 32 kilometres from here.

Wani, who cast his vote during polling for the Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency on Monday, said his organisation believes in democratic process and has taken part in elections in the past well.

“We will take part (in the assembly elections) because we have faith in the democratic process. We will have to take part as we used to do earlier as well,” Wani added.

The organisation has not participated in any election since 1987.

The former Ameer-e-Jamaat (leader of the party) was reacting to a letter doing the rounds on social media with claims that the Majlis-e-Shoora of the Jamaat had not sanctioned participation in the elections.

“We participated in the (Lok Sabha) elections and told our workers to vote freely for strengthening the democracy as democracy can lead to resolution of problems.

According to our (party) constitution, this is a necessary thing. Some miscreant has written somewhere that (Majlis) Shoora (consultative council) has not approved it.

Only he knows what the motive behind this letter is! We are rebutting it and making our position clear. The shoora is with us,” he said.

Asked about his message to Jamaat workers in the areas going to polls in later phases of the Lok Sabha elections, Wanbi said change can only be brought through voting.

“We can bring the change through voting. If good people come forward, then the society will develop and issues will be resolved. These mafias like drug mafia will be eradicated. My appeal to workers is to vote without fear,” he added.

The Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu and Kashmir was banned by the Centre for five years in February 2019 for “unlawful association” and for activities “prejudicial to internal security and public order”.

The ban was extended for a period of five more years in February 2024. — (PTI)