Dear Fellow Freedom Fighter,
After the First Phase of Legislative Elections in the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir Nation on 25th of November, 2014, the Indian media launched a campaign to portray the turnout as referendum, therefore, I was left with no option but to reiterate the position of UNO viz-a-viz Kashmir elections through a policy statement issued on 26th of November, 2014.
This is what the statement read: “Polls in Kashmir are no substitute for UN Plebiscite and Election a Non-Issue in the eyes of U.N.O.” I had also stated that portraying elections in Jammu and Kashmir as referendum is denying the very existence of United Nations. The statement opened the eyes of those who are at the helm of affairs including the pro-freedom leadership. You as the Chief of United Jihad Council took the lead and issued a sensible and historic statement on November 27, 2014 wherein you have asked entire pro-freedom camp though the medium of press to deliberate on relevance of polls in J&K viz-a-viz Kashmir issue and decide whether polls held in Jammu and Kashmir should be termed as an issue or a non-issue! And reach out to people with a unanimous decision. This statement has generated a debate on both sides of the Control Line, as also among the Kashmiri Diaspora. Following the suit, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Chairman All Parties Hurriyat Conference, issued a statement on November 29, 2014 that the ongoing elections in Jammu and Kashmir are a non-issue, and are purely for administrative purpose and can never be projected as referendum for Kashmir issue which has to be resolved by involving all the three parties, India, Pakistan and Kashmiris, or by implementing United Nation resolutions.
Senior pro-freedom leader, Shabir Ahmad Shah, on 29th of November, 2014, also termed elections as a non-issue.
Your statement, Mr. Salahuddin, does make some sense but the question is why you needed to wait for twenty five long years before deliberating upon it.
You’re the chief of our armed struggle and we had every reason to believe that you were aware of the nation’s locus standi on the elections. Ever since the inception of politico-armed struggle in disputed territory of J&K many precious lives have been consumed during the farcical elections in the past in the name of boycott apart from more than one lakh martyrs of Jammu and Kashmir who were struggling for the attainment of ‘Right to self-determination’. It is ironic that those martyrs were not told by the leadership whether the elections in Jammu and Kashmir are an issue or a non-issue. What answer the leadership of Kashmir has for the families of those who lost their lives to the bullet for participating in the elections, in case we come to the conclusion that it should be a non-issue. It means leaders who are responsible for the murder of many such people should be tried in the International Court of Justice.
I will ask you a simple question as a fellow freedom fighter on behalf of 13 million people of J&K. When the leadership does not know whether elections in this disputed territory is an issue or a non issue, what right they have got to lead this movement. The next deliberation could be whether Kashmir itself is an issue or a non-issue.
Frankly speaking, I should not actually blame you. This was the responsibility of the collective leadership of APHC because you were busy on military front. It was the responsibility and obligation of APHC leadership to decide and deliberate upon many issues including the elections but they failed to do that partly because of their incompetence, lack of knowledge, vision and partly because of lack of courage and decision making power. But there were few exceptions in the leadership who knew the locus standi of elections in J&K viz-a-viz Kashmir dispute but their voice was strangulated by the political rotten eggs.
Ever since its formation on August 10, 1996, my party stand viz-a-viz elections is clear and unequivocal that elections in this conflict zone is a non-issue in the eyes of U.N.O. It’s the incompetence of the pro-freedom leadership of Kashmir which is responsible for a huge and unprecedented voter turnout in Kashmir.
It is worth mentioning that United Nations Security Council has stated clearly that all elections held for administrative purpose are irrelevant, as far as final resolution of Kashmir issue is concerned.
United Nations Security Council has declared J&K Elections a non-issue by passing two resolutions on March 30, 1951 and January 24, 1957 respectively wherein India is a signatory. But our leaders are adamant to make J&K elections an issue. By doing so APHC leadership is unknowingly trying to bypass the already passed resolutions by Security Council. When United Nations has already settled the issue of J&K elections and self-determination right, I fail to understand why they poke their nose in the constitutional matters which are beyond their understanding. Our imposed leaders are damaging Kashmir case by their unwise decision and lack of knowledge. The aforesaid Resolutions stand as guarantee to the people J&K. The resolutions declared that the so-called J&K Constituent Assembly had no locus-standi to bypass the already passed Plebiscite Resolutions of the Security Council. The 24 vacant seats in J&K Legislative Assembly for the other side of the Control Line amply prove that this assembly is constitutionally incomplete and deficient in character. The purpose of the elections in the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir (Nation) is to set-up an administrative machinery to provide basic amenities like water, electricity, education etc to the civilian population. But regrettably the incompetence of our leaders who have developed a habit “to poke their nose in the matters beyond their understanding, comprehension and intellect” have made elections an issue, which even Security Council had declared a non-issue long before.
UN Security Council by declaring the J&K elections a non-issue has given guarantee to the member nations of UNO that that no power on earth can substitute UN plebiscite by elections in the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir as long as UNO exists and functions under United Nations Charter and two aforesaid resolutions stand as security guards to safeguard the disputed status of Jammu and Kashmir Nations. This means even if voter turnout is 100 per cent it won’t touch and affect the disputed status of Jammu and Kashmir because the purpose of formation of assembly is to address day to day problems. But these conditions cannot bail out the pro-freedom leadership for the huge and unprecedented turnout. In this political scenario the reshuffle in the pro-freedom camp is unavoidable. The unwise decisions and lack of farsightedness of pro freedom leaders has spoiled the Kashmir case because neither they could plead the Kashmir case in right perspective nor they know the Kashmir case even after 67 years of the creation of Kashmir problem.
For some time past some powerful voices from resistance camp have been demanding that competent, energetic and visionary should lead the freedom camp in Jammu and Kashmir and deadwood should go. APHC leadership has proved to be a hotchpotch of political divergent ideologies and white elephant for people of Kashmir and Pakistan as well. They miserably failed to yield any results and to capitalize the sentiments and emotions of the people of Jammu and Kashmir in general and young generation in particular. They failed to capitalize on the two most important events i.e. 2008 mass uprising and 2010 mass uprising; they could not give a proper direction during these golden periods. They don’t know whether elections are an issue or a non-issue and after 25 long years they are still undecided about the elections.
Therefore, they have no right to continue and it is obligatory for them to quit honorably and apologize to the people of J&K for their incompetence and dubious role before they will be shown a very disgraceful exit by the oppressed youth of Kashmir.
Hilal Ahmad War
Senior Leader, APHC
Chairman, People’s Political Party (PPP)