May 2006 News

JKLF to contest elections in 38 constituencies

27 May 2006
The Daily Times
Zahid Hameed

Islamabad: The pro-independence Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) is fielding candidates in 38 out of 41 constituencies of Azad Jammu Kashmir Legislative Assembly for general elections to be held on July 11. The announcement was made at a press conference on Saturday by Sardar M Saghir, the secretary general and chief of JKLF parliamentary board. Saghir said the JKLF would contest the elections on the manifesto of Independent Jammu and Kashmir. The election rules for Azad Kashmir Assembly state that each candidate would take an oath supporting the accession of the entire Jammu and Kashmir state to Pakistan. The JKLF secretary general termed the provision undemocratic and contrary to human rights, and reiterated the long demand of its organisation to remove the provision from nomination papers as it keeps hundreds of thousands of Kashmiris, who support the concept of independence, from contesting the elections. The JKLF, he said, had decided that its candidates would take the oath of working for complete independence of the entire state instead of declaring support for the state’s accession to Pakistan. “Kashmir is neither an integral part of India nor is it the jugular vein of Pakistan, he said. He asserted that the JKLF would hold peaceful rallies, go to human rights commission, and move the international court if the nomination papers of their candidates were rejected. In 2001 elections, the JKLF had fielded 32 candidates and their papers were rejected for not taking oath to support the state’s accession to Pakistan, which caused widespread protests in Azad Kashmir and led to the arrests of 350 JKLF political activists including many candidates and JKLK chairman Amanullah Khan.


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