November 2002 News

Malik back to basics: Mission Azad Kashmir

15 November 2002
The Indian Express

Bandipore: JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik today vowed to restart his mission to ‘‘liberate Kashmir’’. ‘‘Three years ago, we started an anti- election campaign from here. After my release, I choose to restart our mission from here,’’ Malik said at a public rally in Bandipore, north Kashmir. ‘‘They arrested 41 leaders before the elections to ensure there are no protests. The arrests were a blow to Vajpayee’s claim of holding free and fair polls,’’ Malik said. ‘‘I congratulate the people of Bandipore, who boycotted the elections and gave a befitting reply to those who are claiming to be the representatives of the people of Kashmir.’’ Malik termed the polls as farce: ‘‘Only 28 per cent people in the Valley came out to vote. Of these, eight per cent were forced to exercise their franchise by the security forces. I am referring to the statistics of Election Commission which shows that 80 per cent people boycotted the elections,’’ he said. Malik alleged that government is trying to buy Kashmiris on the promise of employment and ex-gratia relief. ‘‘More than 80,000 people did not make sacrifices for petty benefits,’’ he said. JKLF leader Showkat Ahmad Bakhshi, who was released after 12 years in jail, said: ‘‘People who did not compromise on their lives would never compromise on benefits being promised by the government.’’


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