Elections no substitute for political solution: Mirwaiz

Srinagar: Asserting that the ongoing elections have no bearing on the disputed status of Kashmir, Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umer Farooq said on Saturday that voting should not be misconstrued as a verdict in India’s favour.
“You have to understand that as far as the sentiments are concerned the sentiment of Azadi is very strong in Kashmir. Our focus is on the resolution of Kashmir issue. That can only happen when all the three parties either start dialogue or there is implementation of UN resolutions,” Mirwaiz told reporters after kick-starting Akh Akis (all together) housing rehab project in Mandir Bagh.
About 100 houses damaged in the September floods will be rebuild in the first phase of the project.
Mirwaiz said that although people need solutions to their day-to-day problems, a distinction has to be made between an election for such issues and a vote for any nation.
“And that distinction is very clear. Even who have voted are voting for their daily problems. They’re not voting for India,” he said.
“We have already rejected the process. We have already said the polls for Hurriyat are a non-issue. And I think is very important to understand the fact that these elections or this process cannot be a substitute for the right to self-determination. We’re absolutely clear about that,” he said.
He said the sentiment for Azadi has remained despite the ten elections in the past.
When asked why his amalgam didn’t launch an anti-poll campaign, Mirwaiz said that most of the Hurriyat leadership and nearly 900 boys were detained by the authorities.
“So the fact is that this is an exercise, which the government of India will conduct anyway. And we feel that rather than wasting time on the administrative issues, we should focus on rehabilitation because it is the need of hour,” he said.