Srinagar: Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) on Thursday called for an election boycott, accusing the government of supressing the freedom of speech and expression.
JKLF acting chairman, Abdul Hameed Butt in a statement said: “How can one call an election process democratic when it is used to choke space on political dissent, arrest and suppress freedom of speech by putting ban on peaceful politics and religious activities and deny a nation its birth right of self-determination which has been guaranteed to it by the international community and pledged by Indian leaders too.”
“This process is used to hoodwink international opinion on Jammu Kashmir cannot be termed as a genuine democratic process and deserves our complete and comprehensive rejection and boycott,” he added.
JKLF acting chairman said that “to hoodwink international and Indian public opinion on Jammu Kashmir and divert attention from the gross human rights abuses here, New Delhi have always orchestrated a stage-managed drama in the name of elections. They have always termed the participation of people in these elections as a vote in favour.”
“Kashmiris should reject with one voice and boycott this futile exercise as it is in every respect harmful to our interests,” Butt stated, adding, “A total rejection of Iby-elections in 2017 and municipal elections in 2018 are ample proof of what Kashmiris want.”
He further said that “we as a nation have always stood for peaceful democratic ways of dissent and staying away from elections is also our democratic right that was in past even acknowledged by the election commission of India too. Contrary to this, holding election by putting curbs, annihilating every opposite voice, putting political leaders and activists in jails and incarceration centers, putting curbs on media.