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Mulayam's statement evokes suspicion - The Times of India

Mustafa Alvi ()
October 1, 1998

Title: Mulayam's statement evokes suspicion
Author: Mustafa Alvi
Publication: The Times of India
Date: October 1, 1998

At a time when Pakistan is engaged in a proxy war against India
by sneaking terrorists into the border state of Jammu and
Kashmir, the statement of the Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam
Singh Yadav made recently in Mumbai to effect that India must
lend Rs two thousand crore to Pakistan to enable it to tide over
its prevailing economic crisis in the wake of the sanctions
imposed by Western powers has ruffled many a feather.

A few right-wing parties which elude the Shiv Sena and the
Bharatiya Janata Party not only termed the statement as anti-
national, but have even demanded his prosecution under the
relevant law. Chartered accountant M.Y. Siddiqui said it was
surprising that Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav, who had been the
country's defence minister and who is aware of the nefarious
designs of Pakistan and the ISI to dismember India, has issued a
statement which would never be in the interest of Indian
Muslims. He said that it was debatable whether political
expediency or goodwill gesture prompted him to issue such an
irresponsible and dangerous statement which might trigger a
backlash from the BJP and its allies.

"The statement is a ploy to appease the Muslims, the largest
vote bank of his party," opined a senior civil lawyer. The stand
of Mr Yadav to form a 'Confederation' of India, Pakistan and
Bangladesh to minimise tensions in the sub-continent is alright,
but to ask for giving financial aid to a hostile neighbour is
beyond reason, he said.

The convener of the All India Babri Masjid Action Committee
(AIBMAC), Zafaryab Jilani, termed the statement as 'innocuous'.
He said it was made with a spirit of magnanimity. "There is no
harm in extending financial aid to a neighbour when it has been
the policy of a large country like India to help its
neighbours." He said it is incorrect to say that the statement
was issued to appease the Muslims.

The president of All India Muslim Forum, M. Nehaluddin, has
severely condemned the statement and termed it as a political
gimmickry to encash Muslim sentiments. Describing the statement
as irresponsible and fraught with danger, he said it would tear
the secular fabric of the country and widen the gulf between the
two communities in the country.

Saeeda Zaheer, a lecturer at Karamat Inter College, voicing her
anguish at the statement said Indian Muslims must not take the
statement seriously as was made to strengthen the vote bank of
Samajwadi Party. "It is a deep-rooted conspiracy to strengthen
the BJP in the country. Mr Yadav by issuing such a statement has
immensely harmed the Indian Muslims."

Javed Murtuza, an advocate and president of Ali Congress, also
condemned the statement. He said that no Indian Muslim would
ever support the line of Mr Yadav. He requested the Muslim
community not to fall into the trap laid by the so- called
messiah of the Muslim community.

A Shia cleric Maulana Yasoob, Abbas opined that Mr Yadav should
desist from issuing a statement which might endanger the well
being of Muslim community in India. The Muslims who had suffered
a lot after the demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya would not
support the view of Mr Yadav, he opined.

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