For the first time in 15 yrs, Hurriyat won’t boycott polls

For the first time in 15 years, the Hurriyat has said it will not call for a boycott of the Lok Sabha elections in Jammu and Kashmir with the snub it got from voters defying their call to stay away from the recent Assembly elections apparently weighing in their minds.

“There cannot be any boycott on J and K. People in Jammu come to vote, people in Ladakh come to vote, National Conference cadre in the Valley vote, so the boycott becomes redundant,” said Executive Council member of Hurriyat, Abdul Ghani Bhat, who represents the separatist group’s moderate faction.

“We have not used the word boycott,” Bhat said a day after the end of the three-day meeting of its Executive and General Council while referring to the outcome of the deliberations.

“We have taken a position which is commensurate with the principles of politics, which is commensurate in my opinion, with the basis of our movement,” Bhat said.

People in the state should however rise and tell the pro-Indian leadership in Kashmir, “Look you cannot gloat over the (Assembly) results.”

Bhat however said elections is a “non-issue” and not a solution to resolve the Kashmir problem. The three-day meeting had also rejected the upcoming Lok Sabha elections as a “futile exercise”

“We seek a permanent settlement of the dispute on J-K in the larger interest of peace, security and stability in the entire South Asian region,” he said.

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