Hurriyat Conference (M) Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq Friday said Hurriyat believed in democracy but not the one prevailing in Kashmir.
“We believe in democracy but not the one that is prevalent in Kashmir under presence of lakhs of forces who are out to muzzle all democratic rights of people. Meaning of democracy here is military might,” Mirwaiz said while addressing Friday congregational prayers at historic Jamia Masjid.
He said the separatist leadership and people of Kashmir have time and again rejected every election thrust on them with a view to dilute the disputed nature of Kashmir and strengthen and legitimise Indian rule in J&K.
Mirwaiz said Government of India can't stop people of Kashmir from demanding their right to self-determination.
He said people of Kashmir would once again reject the “sham polls” commencing from November 17 in the same way they outrightly rejected the Urban Local Bodies (ULB) polls and send a message to one and all that people of Kashmir reject “farcical exercises”.
Mirwaiz said holding elections has no meaning in a place, where all basic human democratic political and even religious rights of people are “trampled and usurped through military might”.
The Hurriyat (M) chairman said every day military and police men lay siege around towns and villages, where youth are “killed, maimed, thrashed and homes blasted off, elderly people harassed and placed under detention. Even women are killed and beaten, leadership arbitrarily caged and put in jails.”
“Where all power and control flows from the barrel of the gun, in such a place holding elections is not only meaningless but a mockery,” he said.
Stating that none is averse to elections, Mirwaiz said “It is an established democratic practice across the globe, where people exercise their choice and decide who and how they want to be ruled but in Kashmir that is not the case. Here, it is used as a means to continue forced rule”.
“Elections will continue to be futile exercise in Kashmir unless democracy is not restored and allowed to flourish in the real sense. And the first step to that is to allow people of J&K to decide their fate by giving them the basic right to self-determination,” he said.
“Unless New Delhi takes concrete steps to resolve the Kashmir issue, people will continue to stay away from every polls,” added Mirwaiz.
He urged people to observe complete strike on November 17 and follow the JRL’s protest and shutdown program announced for the poll bound areas on election days.
After Friday prayers, Mirwaiz visited the residence of Hurriyat (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani to condole the demise of his eldest son-in –law Ghulam Hassan Makhdoomi.