Poll Boycott Calls Yielded Nothing: Bilal

Poll Boycott Calls Yielded Nothing: Bilal

18 May 2013
Rising Kashmir


Srinagar: Senior Hurriyat Conference (M) leader and Peoples Conference chairman Bilal Gani Lone Saturday said poll boycott calls in the past yielded nothing and helped mainstream parties. “We have committed enough mistakes in the past. The polls boycott calls in the past yielded nothing. The mainstream parties National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) benefitted from the poll boycott calls,” Bilal told a local news gathering agency, KNS after laying foundation of AG Lone Charitable Trust here. He said before calling for election boycott, all the separatist leaders should sit and devise a strategy. “Though boycott is genuine, we should make the public aware how much it helps them”. Maintaining that he had never any intention to contest elections, Bilal said, “In 2002 I decided never to contest any election. But it is also a fact that mainstream parties reap benefits of election boycott”. He said his father and PC founder late Abdul Gani Lone always used to take people into confidence before taking any decision. “I appeal all the separatist leaders to devise a new strategy and see where we went wrong in past. We should make ourselves accountable before the people. Both Hurriyat factions should sit and discuss these issues,” he said. Without naming anybody, Hurriyat (M) leader said some leaders are making hue and cry on unity between two Hurriyat factions. “What unity we are talking about. I can have ideological differences with Geelani sahib but I consider him as my uncle”. He announced that he would donate 15-20 percent of his annual income to the charitable trust. “The trust would help the victims of the conflict”. Stating that many trusts and NGOs were formed in last few years in the name of helping poor and militancy victims, Bilal said, “These so-called trusts and NGOs swindle money they collect in the name of victims”. Former Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Prof Abdul Gani Bhat, who was also present on the occasion, said Abdul Gani Lone was a visionary leader and had capacity to develop strategies for benefit of people. He said that there was no question of war between India and Pakistan as both are nuclear powers. Stating that there is no role of gun in present scenario, he said Kashmiris can take their struggle to its logical conclusion through peaceful means. “Kashmiris might be weak before India but they will never concede defeat,” he said. Without naming Geelani, Bhat said, “If Hurriyat (M) talks about dialogue they are being labelled as traitors. But when someone else says so, nobody raises any question.”