February 2002 News

Amanullah Khan objects to Hurriyat

16 February 2002
The Hindu

JAMMU: The Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chairman, Amanullah Khan, has objected to the All-Party Hurriyat Conference's proposal of holding elections under its own "election commission". The JKLF founder-chairman told The Hindu that the methodology, which the conglomerate had chosen, was defective and unacceptable even to the neutral observers of the Kashmir issue. He said the APHC could not be described as the representative organisation of the people of the Jammu Kashmir State. The 23-party conglomerate did not represent ; non-Muslims, who formed over 25 per cent of its population, and also it did not represent Jammu, Ladakh, "Azad Kashmir" (Pakistan-occupied Kashmir) and Gilgit Baltistan nor pro-India residents of Kashmir Valley, he said. Mr. Khan said the APHC should have approached persons of international stature to head the "Commission". Those who were claiming to be true representatives of the people of the entire Jammu Kashmir State, had given one of its integral parts, Gilgit Baltistan, spread over 28,000 square miles and having a population of over a million people, as a gift to Pakistan by refusing to accept it as part of the Jammu Kashmir State while appointing the "election commissioners" for different areas of the State. Referring to the 12,000 sq. miles (Aksai Chin) of the JK State's territory in the northeast and about 600 sq. miles of the State's territory in the northwest, which is under China, Mr. Khan said these areas had been snatched forcibly from India by China and the latter had taken them from Pakistan in 1963 under an agreement between the two. He said Gilgit Baltistan areas were far behind "Azad Kashmir" politically and economically. In education, Indian-controlled part of Kashmir was far ahead of the areas on me other side of the divide. Blaming the successive leadership of J&K on both sides of the ceasefire line, he alleged they were selfish, short-sighted and unpatriotic. Had all of them not been what they proved to be, the .Kashmir issue would have been solved long ago. "We sincerely Believe that if Pakistan shuns -Its selfishness,' India adopts a democratic, humane and realistic, the Kashmiri leaders become Kashmiri patriots instead of acting as puppets in the hand of India and Pakistan, the issue can be solved in no time without hurting the national egos of India and Pakistan, without harming their national ideologies and legitimate national interests".


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