2010 Agitation Futile Exercise: Sajad Lone


‘Election boycott a duty, democratic right of separatists’

SRINAGAR –  Describing the 2010 agitation in Kashmir valley as a futile exercise, People Conference (PC) Chairman Sajad Ghani Lone today said such agitations adversely affect the life of common people.

“There is no need to launch such agitations which scare away tourists and restrict children from going to school”, said Lone while talking to KNS on Friday, adding there are many other ways to protest for genuine demands of people.

Lone, while strongly condemning agitations and strikes said, “It has adverse effects on the common man. People can hold peaceful dharnas (sit-ins) across the Valley or go for a brief one hour shut down rather than having a ninety day shut down”.

He said that the agitation in year 2010 was a futile exercise which didn’t benefit anyone in any manner but, ‘on the contrary had adverse effect on the common people of Kashmir. He said agitation threats should not be issued by anyone.

On the suo motto notice taken by the Supreme Court over the Amarnath Yatra deaths, Sajjad accused India of being selective in delivering justice.

“There was no proactive action from SC when it comes to human rights violations in the Valley. What pains me as a Kashmiri is that in last twenty years, amid huge number of disappearances, killings and Public Safety Act slaps, SC did not mention a single word on them”, he said.

“This whole Amarnath Yatra is a pointer, a question towards India’s collective conscience. Where is their conscience? Where is their morality? What are these ethics that SC is so active when it comes to Amarnath Yatries but doesn’t mention a word on thousands of people who died in last twenty years? I think that question is more important than whether the road is being macadamized or not”, said Sajad Lone.

He called upon the youth to work for economic security and prosperity of the state

“The country belongs to them (youth). They should do what it takes to make it economically secure and a prosperous place. As far as political preferences are concerned, I think its time for people of Kashmir especially youth to go for introspection and see whether their voting preferences and responsibilities might have contributed to the current state of affairs”, he said.

Refuting criticism from certain quarters regarding his contesting elections, he said, “I never took Qur’an in my hands to swear that I would not contest elections. What I said was that I have not fielded any proxy candidates. When it comes fighting elections, other separatists also fought elections, I’m also fighting elections. If Allah will punish me for fighting elections, He will punish them also. If Allah has exempted ‘them’ from every sin, then it becomes a different story”, he added.

When asked if he believes the separatists should call for election boycott in the upcoming elections, the PC Chairman said, “I really think that it is their duty. It is their democratic right to call for the boycott of elections, and if they do, they should not be arrested and restrained. Let them carry on with their democratic right”, he said.

On the threat issued to Panchs and Sarpanchs, he said, “I condemn issuing of threats to anyone”.

Speaking about the present situation in the Valley, he accused the government of failing on every front. He said that the government and people are alienated from each other. ”Government has failed to address the miseries of the people, people who are at the helm of affairs seem to live in a different world”, said Lone.

Lone said that he had no sleepless nights after losing in the previous elections however, ‘there were lessons to be learnt’.

“Failure in last election has given lessons, we lacked in technical aspects at that time”, he said.

When asked his family is divided between different ideologies, he said that family members were at liberty to have different ideologies.  “In Kashmir, families have divided ideologies when it comes to political preferences”.(KNS)

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