‘Elections used to negate right to self-determination’
Srinagar: The Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) on Thursday asked people to boycott the Panchayat elections, four days after the government announced that the polls would be held in February.
A statement issued by the JRL comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik said that any sort of elections “be it for so-called assembly, parliament, municipal committee or Panchayat” is meant “only to harm the national interests of Kashmiris.”
“We cannot vote and hence strengthen the hands of those tyrants who separated innocent kids Maryam and Azra from their mothers and are forcing us to bury mutilated bodies of our kith and kin,” the statement said.
Polls to 4,098 panchayats are to be held after every five years. The term of the last panchayat bodies expired in 2016 making the fresh polls long overdue.
Appealing people to boycott “election drama” the JRL said, “Indian rulers and their Kashmiri stooges who on daily basis trample democracy and humanity, have been using this election drama to negate Kashmiri demand for self-determination and freedom.”
“As a living nation,” the JRL insisted, “it is our responsibility to safeguard sacrifices rendered by our martyrs and never forget these sacrifices.”
“How can we vote for those so-called rulers and their parties which are hell bent on installing RSS fascism in Jammu Kashmir, who wants to change the demography of this land and turn its Muslim majority into minority and who have killed thousands of men and women, who snatched eyesight of thousands by pellets, who have caged thousands of young and old, who are engaged in vandalizing our houses and putting our localities to flames in these cold days and who are using every tyrant method to suppress our resistance,” the JRL said.
“How can any Kashmiri vote and strengthen those who hanged Shaheed Muhammad Maqbool Butt and Shaheed Muhammad Afzal Guru, who use so-called assemblies and institutions to formulate laws providing impunity to killer Indian forces which have till now killed more than one lakh Kashmiris.”
The statement added that the “election drama” is repeatedly “staged to hoodwink international community” and pro-India parties and their leaders try to “lure people in the name of roads, unemployment and other sugar coated things.”
One the elections are over, the statement said, “these hypocrites, their masters in Delhi and media declare this vote as a vote for India and use this farce to camouflage atrocities and human rights abuses in Kashmir”.
Appealing for a complete and comprehensive boycott of elections, the joint leadership said, “By exemplary boycott of these elections, Kashmiris will deliver a message to India and to the international community that Kashmiri want freedom from Indian occupation and that they will accept nothing less than freedom and right to self determination.”