Won't give up claim on Ayodhya: Sunni Waqf Board
Ruling out giving up its claim on the mosque in Ayodhya, the Sunni Central Waqf Board on Thursday said exploring possibilities for an amicable solution to the dispute without a concrete proposal was a 'futile exercise'.
The board also said that the proposal should be within the framework of Shariat (Islamic law) and felt that the threat by the oldest litigant, Mohammed Hashim Ansari, to pull out, will have no impact on the case.
"Talking about an amicable solution to an age-old dispute without any concrete proposal is a futile exercise. This issue can only be sorted out when the claim of Muslims is upheld. We cannot surrender our claim," the board's Counsel Zafaryab Jilani said.
Image: Zafaryab Jilani
'We are not going to give any proposal'
"It (the proposal) should come from the opposite party and submitted before the Sunni Waqf Board. We are not going to give any proposal," Jilani said.
"Whosoever is exploring the possibilities of an amicable solution, let him do so. If asked, we will clearly say that we will not give any proposal," he said when asked to comment on the exercise being carried out by Hashim Ansari for an out-of-court settlement.
On Ansari's allegation that some persons were conspiring against him, Jilani said that he was probably being provoked by some persons. "I have neither said anything against him nor met him," he said.
Image: Police patrol the streets of Ayodhya
'There are five parties from the Muslim side'
Ansari had on Wednesday sought an apology from Jilani for terming him a common litigant in the case. "Being a simple litigant means that I merely carry bags. It is an attack on prestige and an insult. I only intended to douse flames of fundamentalism at any cost and Jilani can not become a hindrance for me," Ansari had said.
Jilani said, "There is no point of saying anything against Ansari, let alone threatening him".
On Ansari's threat to pull out, the Sunni Waqf Board counsel said that it will have no impact on the case. "There are five parties from the Muslim side. If Ansari pulls out then, four are still left. They will move the Supreme Court,"
Image: A file photo of a demonstration to demand the reconstruction of the Babri Masjid
'The doors are still open for settlement'
Jilani said that he still stands by his earlier statement that there was still scope for an out of court settlement. "Even today, I say that the doors are still open for settlement. But the point is that this issue can only be sorted out when a person honestly wants to resolve it," he said.
Meanwhile, a body of Muslim scholars and clerics from Delhi and Uttar Pradesh on Thursday rejected the verdict of the Allahabad high court on the Ayodhya title suit or any reconciliation bid and demanded that the Centre clear its stance on the issue.
Led by Shahi Imam of the Delhi Jama Masjid Maulana Syed Ahmed Bukhari, nearly 40 scholars met in Delhi and passed a resolution in this regard.
Image: Priests read newspapers inside a temple in Ayodhya
'We hold the Congress directly responsible'
"We reject the judgement of the Allahabad high court and demand that the central government express its stand clearly with regard to this verdict. We also demand that the Congress party make its stand clear," Bukhari told reporters.
He said they have written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh regarding the issue and sought time to meet him.
"We hold the Congress directly responsible for all the anti-Masjid acts perpetrated right from the raking up of the Babri Masjid issue till this verdict. The Congress party, on one hand, kept the Muslims under deception while, on the other hand, it helped communal forces," Bukhari alleged.
Image: A file photo of a black flag being hosted atop a mosque as a sign of protest
'Muslims will not settle for anything less than a Masjid'
To a question on whether representatives of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board were present at the convention, Bukhari replied in the negative.
"Some AIMPLB members are involved in some back-door talking about some sort of negotiations. We did not invite them because we do not want to be part of any such talks. What kind of compromise formula will they work out when Muslims will not settle for anything less than a Masjid at that site," he said.
Asked if he was seeking the support of other political parties as Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav had met him, Bukhari said, "The support of anybody who is with the Muslim community is welcome".
He said the convention would be a party to the appeal before the Supreme Court.
Image: Police patrol the streets of Ayodhya