Please accept my heartiest congratulations for getting the massive mandate from the people of India. Your opponents, whosoever they are, must respect people’s verdict. It was people’s power in 2008 assembly elections that in my constituency stalwarts were uprooted and masses gave a common man like me the chance to represent them. J&K being a conflict zone, anyone having his conscience alive had to fight state and non-state actors at various levels. I myself being victim of violence always tried to represent the sentiments and aspirations of masses without promising them stars and moons. My colleagues compelled me to contest the recently concluded parliamentary elections despite the fact that I had neither adequate resources, material or human. Though I couldn’t win the election but the vote share I got seems to have been taken notice of by my friends and foes. It is established that one can get acceptability in masses without money and muscle power, if he has commitment, sincerity, and dedication. However, I have my own reasons to feel satisfied as those who voted for me have a serious message for various stakeholders in J&K dispute.
A revolutionary boy, then 18 years old, was forced to exile to Pak in 1957 and returned after couple of decades to his native place in Baramulla. He faced tremendous hardships all along his life for pleading a peaceful resolution to Kashmir issue. On 11th April he told his friends that he has cast first vote of his life but to none other than Er. Rasheed. It was my victory and a loud and clear message to pro-resistance leadership, if they can understand. How can I forget old aged Sanaullah Wani, father of a renowned slain militant commander Parvaiz Wani, hailing from my constituency, as he has the distinction of being the first voter to cast his vote on any election day. Similarly there were scores of families who had lost even more than two of their members in the current conflict but voted with pride for Er. Rasheed and like others had not to hide their faces while talking to media persons when asked why they voted.
Sir, we understand that there is no comparison in the votes secured by me to the millions of votes taken by BJP candidates in the entire country. Still North Kashmir has a message for you and entire India. Out of around 3000 ballot votes mostly cast by army, police and para-military cops, BJP got 529, NC 252, PC 141 and Er. Rasheed got 1491. It is a million dollar question for those calling Er. Rasheed Anti-National, Pakistani lover, communal, and what not. That why these local cops voted for me, as I have been often hitting streets against the Human rights violations and atrocities, crying FOJI RAAJ NAA MANZOOR, and similar slogans. I will tell you the reason.
Of course men in uniform cannot speak for themselves. I have been constantly in my speeches, in and outside assembly, and also during campaign, reiterating that mothers should not lose precious lives of their sons, be it that of a militant or Army man, or common man, or anyone else. I have been consistently maintaining that for every mother her son is important than any interest, and paying tributes to the victims of conflict doesn’t change much for the ill-fated families. Wrapping dead bodies in tri-color, Pakistani flag, or any other flag, doesn’t bring any relief to the mothers. Maybe those at the helm of affairs have not been able to carry my words from time to time, but thank God at least a good number of Army Jawans, families of martyred Kashmiris and victims of violence have made everyone understand that whatever Er. Rasheed is to others, but for us he is the one who truly cares. Their approach may be different, but each of them sincerely wants a respectable and peaceful resolution to Kashmir issue so that their mothers come out of trauma. Agreed Khaliq Parvaiz, Sanaullah Wani and the Armymen who voted for me, may not be representing many of the people hailing form their respective ideologies or professions but still it is high time for militant leadership to at least find out that can they afford to call Parvaiz’s 85 year old father a traitor. And similarly can pro-resistance camp label Khalid Parvaiz the renowned writer and icon of resistance as anti-movement. And more importantly can army or Indian media call those 1491 Jawans as Anti-Indian or Pakistani agents who voted for Er. Rasheed. I humbly conclude by requesting your goodself to listen to the voices of the conscience of brave soldiers, who have rejected the false propaganda that whosoever calls a spade a spade is India’s enemy; and that your government must initiate dialogue process with all stake holders without wasting a day.
Awami Ittihad Party (AIP)