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A Call for Transformative Change in Jammu and Kashmir Waqf Board

An Open Letter to Dr. Darakshan Andrabi

Dear Dr. Darakhshan Andrabi,

I trust this letter finds you in robust health and high spirits. As a concerned citizen deeply committed to the well-being of our community, I am writing to you today with a singular purpose – to ignite a constructive dialogue that will pave the way for a brighter future for our beloved Kashmir. A Call for Transformative Change in Jammu and Kashmir Waqf Board

Our land, Kashmir, has long been a symbol of spiritual significance and a cradle of saints. It holds immense potential to shape the destinies of its people, just as our ancestors, the devoted servants of Allah, once did. Recognizing this rich legacy, we shoulder the responsibility of preserving the flame of their sacrifices.

The journey of the Jammu and Kashmir Waqf Board has been one of transformation and tribulation. Over the years, the institution has evolved to oversee and safeguard our revered shrines, mosques, and Waqf properties. Yet, we cannot ignore the shortcomings that have hindered the board from realizing its full potential.

The painful tragedies that befell the Khanyar and Charar-e-Sharief shrines serve as stark reminders of the need for ongoing improvement and heightened responsibility. While efforts have been made to rebuild these hallowed sites, it is paramount to address the root causes that led to their destruction. Our community deserves transparency and accountability, and I implore you to facilitate an open dialogue to ensure that such incidents never recur.

In contrast, the Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board’s success story stands as an inspiring example. Their swift actions have led to the establishment of hospitals, colleges, and universities, profoundly impacting the lives of countless underprivileged families. It is incumbent upon us to follow suit, channeling Waqf income into the creation of hospitals, schools, and other institutions that serve the broader welfare of society.

The measures taken last year to remove Mujavirs and donation boxes from major shrines were commendable steps toward restoring the sanctity of these places. I applaud these actions as they reflect a readiness to break free from outdated practices and adapt to the evolving needs of our society. Furthermore, your efforts to install digital surveillance at all shrines are also highly appreciated as timely and necessary steps.

Nonetheless, I urge you to consider taking more substantial strides. It has become imperative that we expand these practices to encompass renowned schools and institutes that generate substantial annual revenue through extensive Awqaf land, yet only remit nominal rents to the Waqf Board. By issuing notifications to these establishments, we can ensure fairness and equity, in line with the fundamental tenets of our faith. Additionally, encouraging shopkeepers and traders affiliated with the Awqaf to renew their leases and ensure punctual rent payment demonstrates a commitment to efficient management.

To enhance the credibility of the Waqf Board, I implore you to consider implementing further measures. Transparently updating the income generated from Waqf properties on a public portal can dispel any doubts surrounding the institution’s financial activities. This move will foster trust and encourage public participation in contributing to the greater good.

Dr. Darakhshan, I firmly believe that under your leadership, the Waqf Board has the potential to emerge as a beacon of positive change. By aligning the institution’s activities with the welfare of the larger society, we can ensure a lasting legacy that will benefit generations to come. Let us transform the Waqf income into a force for societal good, akin to the inspiring work carried out by the Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board.

Thank you for your time and consideration. May your tenure be marked by transformative initiatives that bring prosperity and harmony to our beloved Kashmir.


Aubaid Ahmad Akhoon

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