Pay-off leak proved Kashmir elections are farce: Mirwaiz

CHARAR-E-SHARIEF: Chairman Hurriyat Conference (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has said that Government of India has lost the option of projecting elections in J&K as a referendum as the revelations made by the former army chief General V K Singh have proved that democratic institutions and polls in the State are a farce.

Addressing an impressive gathering at the revered shrine of Sufi saint Hazrat Sheikh-ul-Aalam (RA) at Charar-e-Sharief, 35 kms from Srinagar, Mirwaiz said, “Even if Delhi or the State government would make an attempt to project J&K elections as a vote for India, nobody would buy that. The General has taken the lid off from the gory facts that have exposed the J&K politicians and the democratic institutions,” Mirwaiz said as people raised pro-freedom slogans.

In an interview last month, former Army Chief General VK Singh had said that JK ministers are on the payroll of Army since 1947.

Mirwaiz said that after the series of statements made by the General, Hurriyat’s stand is vindicated that all democratic institutions and elections held so far in J&K were nothing but farce. “Democratic institutions have been reduced to a circus and the politicians are actors, rather paid actors of the army,” he said.

Mirwaiz said New Delhi has been using the vote and elections as a tool against Kashmiris by misleading the world community that people of J&K were voting in favour of India. “Since the General has made it clear how elections were manipulated since 1947.

New Delhi can’t escape from the reality that Kashmir issue is alive and ticking. There is no escape route for New Delhi now. Politicians in JK stand exposed before the masses and the option of projecting polls as a vote for India is over,” he said.

Mirwaiz said the General’s expose has made it clear that J&K’s mainstream politicians have always served the interest of New Delhi in lieu of monetary benefits by the army and other quarters. “People won’t trust the mainstream leaders anymore,” he said as people, especially youth, raised pro-Mirwaiz slogans.

He said Hurriyat would continue to represent true aspirations of people till the final goal is achieved. “Hurriyat won’t forget the priceless sacrifices offered by the people of Kashmir since 1947. We will strive hard to achieve the goal of freedom,” Mirwaiz said.

He said the country claiming to be world’s best democracy should shun its rigidity and resolve the issue of Kashmir. “There has to be complete demilitarization so that people could heave a sigh of relief. Solution can’t be achieved through military might,” he said.

He said that Afghanistan and Palestine have set the example that the voice of people can’t be muzzled on the basis of the power of gun or through huge presence of army. “Dialogue is the only way to find solution to problems,” he said. “We are not against any religion or any sect in India. What we are demanding is the fulfillment of promise made by India in United Nations.”

Referring to the recent LoC skirmishes, Mirwaiz said that even a single bullet fired at the LoC casts a shadow on Kashmir. “We convey to both India and Pakistan that Kashmir is not a vote issue or an issue related to development or financial packages. This is a fragile issue which can take an ugly shape anytime,” he said.

“We urge both the nuclear powers to initiate a meaningful dialogue with Kashmiris on board so that an amicable settlement is reached. The solution has to be acceptable to the people of Kashmir, who are the real stakeholders of the problem.”

He said some forces were given the job to create an atmosphere of hostility between the two countries so that their interests in Kashmir could continue to earn them fortunes. “The two countries need to keep on talking to counter these elements,” he said in a veiled reference to opposition BJP.

Earlier, Mirwaiz highlighted the contribution of Sheikh-ul-Alam (RA) in spreading Islam in Kashmir. NNI