Muzamil Ibrahim wants to help restore peace in Kashmir

By Subhash K. Jha, IANS,

Mumbai : Kashmiri supermodel-turned-actor Muzamil Ibrahim, who fled from the valley due to the extremist violence in 2004, would very much like to return home to help youngsters understand the futility of bloodshed.

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However, at the moment Muzamil’s return to Kashmir seems hugely impeded by the escalated violence there. He is deeply angered by what is happening to his people back home.

“I don’t have any immediate family in Kashmir any longer. A year after I came to Mumbai, my parents sold our house in Kashmir. Now my mother and brother stay with me. My father stays in Jammu and still has business links with Kashmir. So we can’t really pretend we are out of Kashmir. We can never be,” he said.

He said his friends in Kashmir are very upset with the way the government is handling the violence.

“If armed forces shoot 14-year-olds in the heads, no matter what the provocation, there are bound to be deep repercussions and resentment among the people. Around two dozen teenagers have died in the recent violence,” the 25-year-old actor said.

“The entire valley is burning. The Indian government has failed to make Kashmir feel like a part of India,” he opined.

Muzamil is ready to go to Kashmir and speak to youngsters in their own language. He feels only a Kashmiri can understand what they are going through.

“Reasoning with them, talking to them…that’s the solution, not pumping bullets into heads of angry stone-pelters,” Muzamil said.

He can’t wait to get to Kashmir. “The last time I visited was two years ago, and that too after four years. I’m longing to get back and be of any help possible.”

Muzamil won the Gladrags Manhunt Contest in 2003. He débuted in Bollywood with Pooja Bhatt-directed “Dhoka”.