Salahuddin’s statement on municipal polls evokes mixed response
GK POLITICAL BUREAU
Srinagar, Nov 24: Chairman of United Jihad Council (UJC) Syed Salahuddin announcing that militants have nothing to do with Municipal or Panchayat elections has evoked a mixed reaction from mainstream and pro-freedom leaders in the Valley.
“Kashmiris have their own viewpoint regarding the Panchayat and Municipal polls i.e. these are held for running the administrative affairs at a local level. And for them, it is not necessary to take an oath of allegiance towards Indian Constitution. During these polls, people are brought on the forefront for running administrative affairs. This is neither a matter of concern for us and nor we pay any attention towards it,” a local news agency KNS had quoted Salahuddin as having said on Wednesday.
Reacting to Salahuddin’s statement, the spokesman of Hurriyat Conference (G), Ayaz Akbar said, “Our policy on elections is clear and it remains unchanged.”
Pertinently, Hurriyat (G) led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani has been at the forefront of leading poll boycott campaigns during past many years.
The vice-president of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front advocate Bashir Ahmed Bhat termed Salahuddin’s assertions as the policy of his own party. “We have got nothing to do with what Salahuddin Sahib says. We have always maintained that elections have got nothing to do with the resolution of Kashmir issue. People of Kashmir have always rejected the elections and they will keep on doing so till the Kashmir issue is resolved as per their wishes and aspirations,” he said. “We have always remained away from elections and will continue to do so.”
Chairman of National Front Nayeem Ahmed Khan said that UJC has its own way of functioning. “We have always reiterated that Kashmir is an internationally acknowledged dispute and elections have got nothing to do with it,” he said.
“During 2008 elections large number of people came out to vote, but in 2010 lakhs of people took to the streets across the Valley to seek their Right to Self Determination. People themselves have proved that elections and Kashmir are different issues,” Khan added.
Chairman of Peoples Conference Sajad Gani Lone described Salahuddin’s statement as a welcome step. “It is realism and acceptance of ground realities. It will encourage people to come out and vote. It is good that militant leadership has realized that day to affairs need to be segregated from the resolution of K-issue,” Sajad said. “It is unfortunate that it is a belated realization as the twin families in JK have established their rule despite their involvement in Human Rights violations. I hope pragmatism and realism guides the leadership.”
The senior National Conference leader and Member Parliament Dr Mehboob Beg described Salahuddin’s statement as an excellent step. “Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has always said that elections have got nothing to do with resolution of the Kashmir issue. Militant leadership has accepted the ground reality and we appreciate it. Participation of more and more people in elections will strengthen the democratic institutions and will lead to empowerment of people,” Dr Beg said.
The Chief spokesperson of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Nayeem Akther said that Salahuddin’s statement will have a positive impact on the people and they will come out to vote without any threat. “Places like Srinagar have been suffering in default as the people who take over these institutions believe they have reached there due to boycott and they are not accountable to people. Srinagar is facing disempowerment due to boycott politics: PDP Srinagar is a 5000 year old city and it is not growing which is very unfortunate.”
President of the Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee, Professor Saifuddin Soz refused to comment over the issue.
* Our policy on elections is unchanged: Hurriyat (G)
* Will continue to remain away from elections: JKLF
* Elections, K-issue different issues: National Front
* It’s acceptance of ground realities: Peoples Conference
* We appreciate it: National Conference
* Srinagar facing disempowerment due to boycott politics: PDP
* No comments: Congress
Lastupdate on : Thu, 24 Nov 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 24 Nov 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 25 Nov 2011 00:00:00 IST
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