Elections Have Lost Relevance in Kashmir: Mirwaiz

SRINAGAR — Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Friday the basic problem regarding Kashmir issue has neither faded away nor been resolved despite the “carrot and stick” approach of New Delhi during past seventy years.

Speaking at Jamia Masjid after two weeks of continuous restrictions, Mirwaiz said the basic issue of resolution of the Kashmir dispute is today ‘more alive, more urgent and more dangerous than ever.’

“Each generation of Kashmiris since 1947 has persuaded for its resolution to put an end to the uncertainty and distress that arises for them because of it. But to no avail, it has lingered on and become chronic mostly because successive governments in India refuse to acknowledge or engage with this basic fact. Instead they use diversions and brute force to repress people to deter them from seeking the resolution,” Mirwaiz said during his Friday sermon.

He said that the only way out from morass is accepting the basic problem and addressing it head on.

“Right of self-determination is the most democratic and simple way to resolve it. Alternative method of dialogue among stakeholders is also available. Both are reasonable means of conflict resolution and of ensuring peace and prosperity for all in the region that can result as a consequence of it,” he said.

Referring to the civic polls Mirwaiz said that, for the people of Kashmir ‘holding of elections whether panchayat or Indian parliament has lost all value.’

“It is as exercise in futility for them, as the essence of this process lies first in the establishment of democratic principles and institutions. Neither are any democratic principles followed here nor have any democratic institutions been allowed to flourish,” he said.

He said any electoral process in such a place becomes a ‘mere eyewash and a means to propagate to outsiders that, things are under control and getting normal and as endorsement of Government of India’s rule.’

“So people will resist it and stay away from it while observing a complete shutdown in protest in accordance with the programme already given by JRL,” he reiterated.

Meanwhile, Hurriyat (M) activists staged a protest outside Jama Masjid after the congregational prayers against the arrest spree of pro-freedom leaders, activists and youth across Kashmir.

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