‘Like-minded’ separatists to put up united face against polls

Hurriyat (G), HCJK, others mulling single election boycott strategy

Srinagar, Aug 26: With Assembly elections on the anvil, several separatist leaders have started hectic deliberations to put up united face against the polls. Newly formed Hurriyat Conference Jammu and Kashmir (HCJK), a conglomerate of parties which earlier this year split from Hurriyat Conference (M), has expedited the process to bring “like-minded pro-freedom groups” on board to effectively counter the Assembly elections.

“Deliberations are on with like-minded pro-freedom groups to formulate joint strategy against elections. There might be differences among like-minded pro-freedom groups over some issues, but our objective is to forge issue-based unity in larger interest of the ongoing Kashmir movement,” said senior HCJK leader Shabir Ahmad Shah.
During recently held talks with some separatist leaders, including Shah, Pakistan underscored the need of forging unity in the separatist camp.
“Emerging political situation in Jammu and Kashmir demands unity among the pro-freedom groups. Pro-India parties including National Conference, Peoples Democratic Party, Congress and Bhartiya Janata Party contest elections under different flags but their sole aim is to implement India’s agenda to suppress the ongoing movement. We are left with only option to unite and give them befitting reply by making the election boycott call successful,” Shah said.
Shah, who is also chairman of Democratic Freedom Party (DFP), said “We have been getting positive signals from like-minded pro-freedom parties. We are working to fix modalities of issue-based unity. The process will be completed well before elections to jointly launch campaign against it. Our present agenda is to implement single poll boycott strategy,” he said.
During past few months, HJCK and Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani have been supporting each others programmes. On June 11, Shabir Shah and senior HCJK leader Nayeem Ahmad Khan participated in the sit-in of Geelani at Hyderpora after police disallowed the conglomerate’s seminar to mark the anniversary of 2010 killings. On July 12, Geelani, who is under continuous house arrest, addressed a seminar organized by HCJK through video-conference.
“I have been making efforts to forge unity in the pro-freedom camp for past many years. Indian agencies are working round the clock to sabotage unity among us. This time we have made it clear that there will be unity with only those parties who are for resolution of Kashmir according to aspirations of its people and United Nations resolutions,” Shah maintained.
Hurriyat Conference (G) has already launched election boycott campaign in various areas of Kashmir. “We are thinking over the proposal of Hurriyat Conference Jammu & Kashmir leaders for adopting joint strategy for election boycott,” Geelani told Greater Kashmir.

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