August 2002 News

JKLF willing to contest elections, lays conditions

6 August 2002
The Daily Excelsior
Aijaz Hussain

Srinagar: Amanullah Khan’s group of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) today announced that it would participate in the forthcoming Assembly elections provided certain ''legitimate and genuine demands'' were fulfilled. According to its secretary general, Haider Hijazi, JKLF would take ''bold political initiatives to involve the people in a free, fair and democratic process to lead the movement in right direction''. He termed India and Pakistan as de-facto parties to the Kashmir issue while rejecting, what he called, ''unfounded and rhetoric claims'' that Kashmir was an integral part of India or jugular vein of Pakistan. Addressing a news conference here this morning, Bhawani Bashir Yasir alias Haider Hijazi unequivocally declared that JKLF was ready to take part in the coming Assembly polls subject to certain conditions. Elaborating his party’s conditions, he emphasised that the assemblies and governments be dissolved on both sides of the divide in Jammu and Kashmir. ''The present governments and assemblies be dissolved simultaneously and national governments representing all regions, religions and political schools of thought be established for two years,'' he said, adding that international peace keeping forces be also deployed on both sides. Hijazi pointed out that the provision of oath of loyalty to Indian constitution or state’s accession to Pakistan for the participating candidates be deleted altogether. ''However, we reiterate that we are well wishers of both India and Pakistan, but are loyal only to our motherland, which is not a constitutional part of either India or Pakistan,'' added he. A pass-out of prestigious National School of Drama (NSD), New Delhi, Hijazi continued that all the detainees imprisoned during last 14 years, hailing from either side of the State be released unconditionally and immediately. ''All the cases against them be also withdrawn so as to enable them to participate actively in the free, fair and democratic political process,'' he said. He advocated that Special Operation Group of J&K Police be disbanded and troops sent back to barracks. '' State patronised renegade militants should be disarmed and all non-Kashmiri militant groups from other side of the State be expelled,'' added Hijazi. JKLF general secretary ridiculed the rhetoric of Kashmir being Atoot Ang (integral part) of India or Shah-Rug (Jugular vein) of Pakistan. ''We hereby make it clear that J&K State or any part of it is neither a part of India nor of Pakistan. About 15 million people of the State are the real party to the Kashmir issue,'' he elaborated. ''We reject the unfounded and rhetoric claims that Kashmir is an integral part of India or jugular vein of Pakistan as these claims carry no political, moral or constitutional justification as both India and Pakistan are only de-facto parties,'' he remarked. Hijazi observed that the elections held so far on either side of the State had been nothing but a ''farce''. ''They cannot be accepted to have been free and fair as they have been farce in manifestation, conduct and character,'' he argued. He explicitly clarified that elections were not substitute to exercise of Kashmiris’ ‘right of self determination’. ''There should be no ambiguity in it that the State Assembly election are not the core issue in the present scenario of our struggle for national emancipation,'' he added. Expressing dismay over the role of Kashmiri leadership, Hijazi pointed out that Kashmir had divided leadership. ''Leaders here follow either pro-Indian or pro-Pakistani approach to the Kashmir issue. In essence both approaches are that of traitors,'' he explained and added: ''However, my party JKLF have not submitted whims and vagaries to either India or Pakistan. We are proud of our indigenous character.'' The JKLF leader reiterated that re-unification of the entire J&K State was only peaceful, equitable, democratic and permanent solution of the Kashmir issue. ''The practicable and honourable solution of the Kashmir tangle is to re-unite the entire State of J&K and make it a completely independent country having friendly relations with India and Pakistan. Let there be a provision that after 15 years of reunification, there is a referendum in which the people of the State determine whether the State should perpetuate its independence or become part of India or Pakistan,’ he explained. Hijazi added that the popular verdict thereafter had to be accepted by all concerned as final settlement of the issue and implemented in letter and spirit. He appealed to international community to support and persuade Governments of India and Pakistan to concede to the people of J&K their legitimate right. Hijazi also condemned the attack on innocent Amarnath pilgrims terming it a brazen act of terror. ''We strongly condemn all such attacks. Whosoever have done it, they are neither friends of Kashmir nor of humanity. They deserve universal condemnation,'' he said.


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