Senior PDP leader Muzaffar Hussain Baig Tuesday offered the Jamaat-e-Islami Jammu Kashmir and the JKLF legal help to contest the ban imposed on them by the Centre, saying while these outfits were ideologically opposed to his party, he would do it to uphold civil liberties.
"Although both Jamaat-e-Islami and JKLF are our opponents, we are ready to provide legal help in contest the ban imposed on them. It is a matter of principles and for upholding civil liberties," Baig said.
The senior leader made the offer of legal assistance to the two banned outfits while addressing a workers' meeting in Baramulla.
The Union Home Ministry last week banned the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), led by Muhammad Yasin Malik, under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
As per a notification issued on March 22, the central government is "of the opinion that the said organisation is involved in anti-national and subversive activities and is in close touch with militant outfits and is supporting extremism in the state".
In an earlier notification issued in February, the Centre had banned the Jamaat, saying that the organisation was "in close touch with militant outfits" and that the group claimed "secession of a part of the Indian territory from the Union"
Following the ban on Yasin Malik-led Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti has raised her concerns towards the move and accused the government of taking steps that will turn Kashmir into an 'open air prison'
In a tweet, the former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir siding with the Hurriyat leader has said that he 'renounced violence' to resolve Jammu and Kashmir issue and was also treated as a 'stakeholder' in a dialogue extended by former Prime Minister Atal Bihar Vajpayee.
Her tweet read: Yasin Malik renounced violence as a way of resolving Jammu and Kashmir issue a long time ago. He was treated as a stakeholder in a dialogue initiated by then PM Vajpayee ji. What will a ban on his organisation achieve? Detrimental steps like these will only turn Kashmir into an open air prison
The organisation has been banned under various provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and its chief Yasin Malik is under arrest and at present lodged in Jammu's Kot Balwal jail.
The Kashmiri separatist leader was taken into preventive custody by the police on February 22 as the cops apprehended him from his Maisuma residence in Srinagar. He was then detained in the Kothibagh police station in Srinagar.
(With PTI inputs)