Only one militant-turned-politician in new J&K Assembly
11 October 2002
The Daily Excelsior
Srinagar: The ninth Jammu and Kashmir Assembly will have only one militant- turned-politician as its elected member as most of them have been rejected by the electorate in the just-concluded elections. There were at least two militant-turned-politicians in the outgoing Assembly, Kuka Parray and Abdul Gani Naseem of National Conference (NC). Mohammad Yousuf Parray alias Kuka Parray, who has the distinction of being the first militant shunning violence and winning the people’s mandate, was humbled by the electorate from his home constituency of Sonawari this time. He lost to an NC candidate by a huge margin. Parray had floated a political outfit, J & K Awami League, after winning the elections in 1996. His party colleague, Liqayat Ali, who tried his luck from Anantnag constituency, also lost to an NC stalwart, Mehboob Beig. Javid Hussain Shah, an MLA who was given a ticket by NC from Bandipora, failed to enthuse the electorate and lost to Parray’s colleague Usman Majid. Naseem, another MLA who had abandoned insurgency, failed to retain Khansahib constituency of Budgam district which has gone to Hakeem Mohammad Yaseen, an independent. Yaseen beat his closest rival Bilal Lodhi of PDP. Ghulam Rasool Shah alias Imran Rahi, a former 'divisional commander' of pro- Pakistan Hizbul Mujahideen, contested as an independent from Lolab constituency but failed to make an impact. This seat was won by Qaiser Lone, an NC candidate who is nephew of slain Minister Mushtaq Ahhmad Lone.