PHD Chamber Kashmir Calls for Reforming Waqf In J&K; Creating A Community-Based Platform For Historic Preservation

Srinagar, Oct 10 (KNS): A Delegation of PHD Chamber of Commerce & Industry Kashmir Chapter Comprised of Mushtaq Ahmad Chaya Baldev Singh Raina, Jan Muhammad Kaul, Tariq Rashid Ghani, Akib Chaya, Qaisar Mir and Aashiq Ahmad had a call on meeting with Dr Darakhshan Andrabi, Member Central Waqaf Council and Chairperson, Waqaf Development Committee, Ministry of Minority Affairs, Government of India.
In a statement issued to KNS reads, the Chamber appreciated the relentless dedication and hard work of Dr Andrabi in reforming protecting and preserving the existing waqaf properties of J&K Including shrines, most of which are historic.
The Chamber stated that the managerial structure of the Aquaf Department must be improved. Simultaneously, to enable and encourage the creation of world class facilities in Shrines, this prestigious Institution of J&K must be modernized and the gross and visible corruption and mismanagement needs to be audited urgently.
The chamber highlighted the issues confronted by the tenants /lessees due to absence of any decision making body in the Aquaf and the chamber suggested that it is important to have an advisory group of concerned citizens, who are devout believers and can give advice on better management of the Shrines. The chamber stated that the revenues from different sources of Aquaf should be ploughed back into improving the facilities in the Shrines, especially public health facilities, building schools, Universities and Professional Institutions.
Baldev said that the Sikh Gurduwara present a marked contrast. They are meticulously clean, mainly due to the voluntary service offered by members of the community. Regretfully, in Muslim Shrine the concept of kar sewa has not caught on and being myself a devotee of all Muslim shrines of Kashmir I have witness gross mismanagement and lack of cleanliness and arrangements in these shrines, Raina further offered that He will take care of Shoes of all devotees of all shrines of J&K and He will do this free service for his life time and will engage his own human resource and infrastructure for this dignified service.
Jan Muhammad Kaul and Tariq Rashid Ghani while highlighting the crores of donations made by devotees are being looted in broad day light and due to lack of accountability nobody knows where the money goes and there is urgent need for carrying out the human resource audit in waqaf and it was stated that most of the illiterates occupying post in Waqaf are at the behest of political affiliations and irony is that our literate highly qualified youth are running from pillar to post for earning their livelihood.
While concluding the meeting Dr Andrabi ensured PHDCCI that she will contribute religiously for this noble cause of improving and reforming and protection of the waqaf properties of J&K. She added that the successive governments in J&K did nothing to rejuvenate and restore the glory of this prestigious institution and unfortunately every political party has used this religious institution for its own interests. Dr Andrabi said that Waqaf should take lessons from Boards and Trusts of other religions who have created world class multiple assets like Hospitals and universities. The donations and charities from our shrines originates from people and it should go back to the people. So, there must be clearly laid-out policies to productively utilize the funds of these places on public welfare. The Supreme Court directive to all religious institutions to furnish an annual account of their income and expenditure is a milestone in this regard.
Moreover, all religious places and institutions are important components of our economic system. Thanks to religious tourism, they are a huge source of employment not only in the projects associated with the management of these institutions, but also in the ancillary activities of provisioning and supplying required materials and manpower, therefore with the support of the Chambers and associations like PHD who are focused on economic development we will reform and restructure the Waqaf of J&K and will set an example by modernizing this institution.(KNS)

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