Another example of how jihad ideology poisons prospects for settlements through negotiations or the ballot box. From AFP:
The United Jihad Council Friday urged Kashmiris to boycott the upcoming elections in the region.
“I appeal to the people of Jammu and Kashmir for a complete boycott of the (parliamentary) polls…to uphold the sacrifices which have been and are still being offered for liberation from Indian subjugation,” said Syed Salahuddin, chief of United Jihad Council (UJC), in a statement.
UJC unites nearly a dozen militant groups waging an armed struggle since 1989 to rid Kashmir of Indian rule and put the entire territory under Pakistani rule.
The insurgency has claimed more than 35,000 lives according to Indian estimates. Separatists and Pakistan put the toll at over 90,000.
“By holding those polls, India wants to show the world that Kashmir is its integral part and that the people of Kashmir are abiding by the Indian Constitution,” Salahuddin said.
“But the ground realities in occupied Kashmir contrarily herald that the Kashmiris want to rid themselves of Indian subjugation and have sacrificed over 500,000 lives since the partition of the sub-continent for the very purpose,” he said. He also urged government employees to boycott any election activities.
Salahuddin, who also heads the largest guerrilla group Hizbul Mujahedin, accused some moderate groups of “hypocrisy”, in a thinly-veiled reference to the main moderate faction of Kashmir’s separatist alliance All Parties Hurriyat Conference.
The faction, led by Maulana Abbas Ansari, entered into direct talks with New Delhi in January this year, and since then the two sides have held two rounds. The third “in-depth” round is scheduled for June. “Those who support the so-called Lok Sabha polls are in fact out to sabotage the freedom struggle and backstab the Kashmiris,” Salahuddin said.
“These people would never be forgiven, neither by the Kashmiris nor by the history.”