Election Boycott Calls Yield Nothing: Bilal

SRINAGAR: Hinting at possibility of issuing no boycott call, Peoples Conference leader and senior member of Mirwaiz led Hurriyat Conference Bilal Gani Lone Saturday said that it was premature to comment on election boycott call.

Talking to a local news agency, KNS after laying foundation of AG Lone Charitable Trust here, he said, “We have committed enough mistakes in the past. Election boycott calls yielded nothing till date. The benefit of boycott goes directly to National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).”

“Before calling for election boycott all the separatists leaders should sit and devise a strategy. Though boycott is genuine, we should make the public aware how much it helps them,” he said,

Lone made it clear that he has never any intention to contest elections. “In 2002 I have decided that I will never contest any election. However, the benefit of boycott goes to the mainstream parties,” he added.

The Hurriyat (M) leader said that his father and Peoples Conference founder Abdul Gani Lone always used to take people into confidence before taking any decision. “I appeal to all the separatists to devise a new strategy and see where we went wrong in past. We should make ourselves accountable before the people and both factions of Hurriyat should sit and discuss these issues. In the past three elections we called for boycott but it yielded nothing,” he said.

Without naming anybody he said that some leaders are making hue and cry on unity between two factions of Hurriyat. “What unity we are talking about. I can have ideological differences with Geelani but I consider him as my uncle,” Lone added.

On the occasion, he declared that he would donate 15-20 percent of his annual income for the charitable trust. “The trust would help the victims of the conflict.”

He cautioned the people that in the last few years so many trusts and NGOs were formed in the name of helping the poor and militancy victims. “But they swindle the money they collect in the name of victims,” he claimed.

Former Hurriyat (M) chairman, Prof Abdul Gani Bhat who was also present on the occasion said, “Abdul Gani Lone was a visionary leader and had capacity to develop strategies for the benefit of people.”

“There is no role of gun in present scenario neither at local nor at international level. Kashmiris can take their struggle to its logical conclusion through peaceful means,” he said.

Without naming Geelani, he said, “If Hurriyat (M) talks about dialogue they are being labelled as traitors. But when some one else says so, nobody raises any question.”

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