In a written reply to NIA through his lawyer, Mirwaiz cited security reasons for not travelling to New Delhi and asked the agency to shift the process of investigation to Srinagar.
The NIA had asked Mirwaizto report for examination at its headquarters in New Delhi on March 11 at 10.30 am in connection with alleged terror funding case.
“The notice to Mirwaiz appears to have been issued on the basis of fallacious assumptions and misinformation solely aimed at maligning the Mirwaiz-i-Kashmir, knowing his status and position, it appears to be the outcome of considerations other than the law,” said his legal counsel Aijaz Ahmad Dhar.
He said his client is not acquainted with the subject matter of FIR/NIA Crime No. RC 10/2017/NIA/DLI, referred to in the NIA notice issues to Mirwaiz.
Dhar said it was unwise for Mirwaiz to travel to Delhi “under the prevailing conditions of hostility wherein there is a threat to personal safety of my client”.
“If NIA wants to examine Mirwaiz, they can do so in Srinagar. He is willing to cooperate as he has nothing to hide,” the counsel said.
Dhar further said Mirwaiz had cooperated with the investigating agencies. “When his house was raided on February 26, no obstruction of any kind was caused. Many documents, personal belongings, laptop, cell phone etc, were taken away by NIA personnel but no receipt was given. Earlier also, on several occasions close relatives of my client were called by the investigating agency and as a matter of fact, they too cooperated,” the counsel said.
Dhar said his client is the Mirwaiz of Kashmir. “Embedded in the cultural ethos of Kashmir, the 300 year old institution of Mirwaiz has nurtured the spiritual and religious identity of Kashmir, fostering its tradition of harmony and good will within and amongst communities.”
“They have been pioneers in spreading education in Kashmir and always stood for human, social and political rights of the people of Kashmir. In keeping with this tradition, Mirwaiz, who is 13th Mirwaiz of Kashmir, is committed to the abiding tradition of upholding truth and justice to represent the aspirations of the people of J&K. The Mirwaiz is highly revered and a large section of people have a deep emotional connect with him,” the counsel said.
Asserting that Mirwaiz’s stand on Kashmir is clear, he said, “Mirwaiz has always stated that the Kashmir issue is a political and human issue, which needs a political resolution either through implementation of UN resolution or through dialogue amongst the three stakeholders India, Pakistan and people of J&K.”
“He (Mirwaiz) has always stated that amicable relationship between India and Pakistan are imperative for peaceful resolution of Kashmir issue and for peace and prosperity in the entire region of south Asia,” the counsel said.
Dhar further said in 2004 and 2005, Mirwaiz and his colleagues from the Hurriyat Conference engaged in dialogue initiated by then Prime Minister of India AtalBihari Vajpayee and his successor Manmohan Singh.
“The Government of India (GoI) also facilitated the travel of Mirwaiz and his colleagues to Pakistan to pave path for a peaceful resolution of the issue,” he said.
Dhar said the “unsubstantiated attempts to link Mirwaiz in false and fabricated cases of ‘terror funding’ through manipulation and exercise of powers is unjustified. It is clearly aimed to silence him through intimidation and harassment. Mirwaiz has all along made it unequivocally clear that he firmly believes in a non-violent and peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue”.
The counsel said Mirwaiz is being victimized solely for his political views advocating the cause of Kashmir.
“This is evident through the vicious media campaign /trial carried on the basic of unsubstantiated and adhoc leaks of information from the investigative agency which has vitiated the atmosphere in India. This has also led to violent verbal and physical assault that Kashmiris are facing across India,” added Mirwaiz’s counsel.