New Delhi: The heavy turnout in the
just-concluded Panchayat elections in Jammu and Kashmir has
apparently upset the pro-Pakistan terror group Hizbul
Mujahideen which has issued a statement saying that separatism
and participation in elections cannot go side by side.
The participation of people, which was 79.25 per cent in
the Kashmir Valley, has left not only the terror group but
also the separatist amalgam Hurriyat Conference, which wished
the people had stayed indoors.
Hizbul Mujahideen Chief Syed Salahuddin has said in an
interview to a local news agency in Kashmir that people there
must shed the "cloak of duality". Sacrifices and participation
in elections can`t go side by side.
The separatist groups, led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani, had
asked people to disassociate from Panchayat elections and
terror groups like Lashker-e-Taiba had pasted posters in
Sopore town. However, the heavy turnout left Geelani and
separatist groups red-faced.
Salahuddin, however, was candid in admitting that there
was a need for reworking strategy as frequent strike calls was
a wrong policy.
"We have to devise a proper strategy. I had once said that
we can`t achieve our goal in case we force our people to
remain indoors for 24 hours, unfortunately, some vested
interests manipulated my statement and burnt my effigy," he
was quoted as having said.
He also accused Hurriyat conference chairman Mirwaiz Umer
Farooq`s faction of not making any serious attempt to have a
united separatist forum.