Poll Boycott Calls A Strategic Imperative: Geelani

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PDP As Good A Delhi Pawn As NC: Geelani To Beig

SRINAGAR (ONS) – In a strong rebuff to PDP leader Muzaffar Hussain Beig, the chairman of the Hurriyat (G), Syed Ali Shah Geelani, on Friday said that separatists’ poll boycott calls were solely in the interests of the Kashmiri people and not governed by concerns of which party New Delhi brought into power in the state.

“We are not bothered which pawns New Delhi advances and which it keeps in reserve for another time,” Geelani said, reacting to Beig’s remarks that the PDP would wipe the NC out in Srinagar in the 2014 polls if the Hurriyat (G) chairman refrained from his boycott call.

“By repeatedly linking polls here to the Kashmir issue at international fora, India has proved time and again that the Hurriyat’s boycott calls are not a madman’s antic but the need of the hour and a strategic imperative,” Geelani said.

“Pro-India politicians may cry themselves hoarse to claim that elections in J and K have administrative relevance only, but India loses no chance to use them at the diplomatic level as an argument in favour of its stand,” he said.

“Not to speak of parliamentary and assembly polls, New Delhi did not spare even the panchayat elections held last year, and went trumpeting around the world that Kashmiris had once again endorsed living with India,” he said.

“Panches and sarpanches too should see through this cunning policy, and resign, not out of any fear or coercion, but solely on the voice of their conscience, so that India does not succeed in exploiting their name to harm our freedom struggle,” he said.

“There is no home in Kashmir which has not sacrificed during the freedom struggle, and this includes the families of panchayat members. So for the sake of their sacrifices, panches and sarpacnhes should decide according to their imaan and conscience,” he said.

“Elections held under the shadow of 7.5 lakh troops are nothing but a military operation, and have no democratic credibility,” he said.

“No party can win in Jammu and Kashmir without New Delhi’s patronage,” he said. “It makes no difference to the Hurriyat Conference whether New Delhi brings in some Omar Abdullah or foists some Mufti Sayeed or Ghulam Azad once again,” he said.

“They are all one and the same. Their role only serves the purpose of harming the collective interests of the Kashmiri people and prolonging their struggle for freedom,” he said.

“I am fully aware of the passion for freedom in the people of Srinagar, and know that they cannot be taken for a ride, but these crafty politicians make repeated mention of the city’s development with a view to turn mobile voters in their favour,” he said.

“New Delhi is bound by compulsion to bring someone or the other to the fore here through its election drama, but the people of Srinagar will give them a fitting reply as always to convey that they cannot be taken in by these ploys and that their commitment to the freedom struggle is absolute,” he said. 

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