Kashmiris hold anti-election protest outside Indian mission
20 April 2004
The News International
ISLAMABAD: Scores of demonstrators condemned elections in held Kashmir at protest outside the Indian mission in Islamabad on Tuesday. The peaceful demonstration was organised by the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC). The protestors belonging to APHC and human rights groups carried placards reading; 'No elections-no selection, we want freedom' and 'Elections in occupied Kashmir are a farce.' All Parties Hurriyat Conference leader Pervez Ahmed accused the Indian government of forcing people to cast their vote in national elections which got underway Tuesday in four phases in the disputed territory. 'These elections cannot be a substitute to the UN promised plebiscite,' Ahmed told the gathering. The leader of an 18- member alliance of Jihadi parties in a statement later said that people in held Kashmir had boycotted the polls. 'I congratulate the people of occupied Kashmir for completely boycotting the first phase of the election drama,' said Syed Salahuddin, chairman United Jihad Council, in a statement. Meanwhile, police said that four people were killed and 25 wounded by militants on the first day of elections in held Kashmir. Two of the dead were security men and one was a local female journalist, Asiya Jeelani, who was travelling in a taxi that hit a landmine.