Separatist leader Sajjad Lone to contest Lok Sabha elections

Yusuf

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In what could be termed as a major victory for Indian democracy, Sajjad Lone has decided to contest the elections from Baramulla. This change of heart is after seeing the turnout in the recent assembly election which witnessed a 68% turnout. Sajjad Lone was so far a staunch supporter of boycotting the elections and conseidered close to Mirwaiz Farooq who will be dissappointed that Lone is going to fight these elections. Lone is saying that he now wants to further his agenda from within the framework of Indian Democracy. Hope more separatists turn around and join main stream politics. They will then realize what it means live in a democracy and to have the freedom of speach and expression rather than ally with a country on the brink of collapse and a takeover by the Taliban.
 

Yusuf

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Personally hope he wins and comes to Parliament, maybe made a minister so that he can work to better the lives of Kashmiris from within the framework of Indian Constitution which will mean that the sepratists are moved away from the thought of ceding from the Indian Union
 

A.V.

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its avery major development still i an of the opinion that this recent change is more to do with the present pakistan situation rather than the assembly elections, the separatists have noticed how taliban is taking over pakistan and they will loose their little support that they have in the valley if they continue to support pakistani policies so they now see india as the only option for them to retain their support base. the people in the valley have finally risen to the idea that its india where their future lies, and their response is heart warming
 

thakur_ritesh

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sajjad lone contesting elections does come as a surprise but at the end of the day the separatists have very little choice post the huge assembly poll turn out where the demand was very clearly of bijli, paani, sarak aur makaan. the hc sounded apologetic that they were placed in a position where they could not do much for the community because of which they might have started losing out on mass base that they claim to have and mirwaiz farooq did say that they need to do an introspection and this move should certainly be seen as a part of an extension of that statement. the huge turnout came in the back drop of some very violent street protests that happened in srinagar on the amarnath land row and then it was being speculated that the era of 90s might be back but all got snubbed by the level of turnout.


the waters are being tested with sajjad lone, with this hc will also gauge the fact that how much of real support they have amongst the average kashmiri. sajjad lone has set the tone of his political campaign by stating that he will be representing kashmir in india and not india in kashmir, but then looking at the back ground that he comes from he cant even state anything else or he would be seen as an opportunist. wish him all the best for his success. if he can be a stepping stone for getting kashmir to main stream then he certainly needs to be hailed for the bold step he has taken.
 

Vinod2070

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Kashmiri separatist leader Sajjad Lone to contest election


Reuters – Sajjad Gani Lone, chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Conference (JKPC), speaks during a news conference …



By Sheikh Mushtaq Sheikh Mushtaq – Sat Apr 11, 9:35 am ET
SRINAGAR (Reuters) – Kashmir's senior separatist leader Sajjad Gani Lone, who has opposed Indian rule in the disputed Himalayan region for decades, in a surprising move on Saturday said he would contest the imminent general elections.
Lone, chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir People's Conference and the first senior separatist to offer to contest an Indian election since a revolt broke out in Kashmir in 1989, said he wanted to take his struggle to parliament in New Delhi.
"Fighting elections is a change of strategy, not ideology," Lone told a news conference.
"I will contest polls with a commitment to use this mechanism as a method to represent the voice of the Kashmiri people and to take the strength and merits of our aspirations to the central stage of India," he said.
Lone, who led some of the massive anti-Indian demonstrations in Kashmir last year, will contest the elections in Baramulla, one of the six parliamentary constituencies in north Kashmir.
His sister, Shabnum Lone, a prominent lawyer, lost the state election last year in the same area.
Hardline separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani has called for a boycott of the April-May elections, but Lone said there was a need to change strategy after last year's state elections, which despite a boycott call saw a turnout of more than 60 percent.
That was seen as a gain for New Delhi, though many said it was a vote for better governance, not acceptance of Indian rule.
"Those who voted in assembly elections last year have compromised the blood of martyrs. I appeal to people to completely boycott the (general) election," Geelani said on Friday at a rally against the elections, which begin next week.
Lone walked out of Kashmir's main separatist alliance, the All Parties Hurriyat (Freedom) Conference, after his father, senior separatist leader Abdul Gani Lone, was assassinated by unidentified gunmen in 2002.
In 2007 he put forward a peace plan entitled "Achievable Nationhood" to unify the divided territory, claimed both by India and Pakistan, and to give it autonomy.
The nuclear-armed South Asian rivals have fought two of their three wars over Kashmir since independence from Britain in 1947. They began a peace process in 2004 but New Delhi suspended that dialogue after the Mumbai attacks last November.
Officials say more than 47,000 people have been killed in the Muslim-majority region in the revolt against Indian rule. Human rights groups put the figure at around 60,000 dead or missing.
Many Kashmiris said they were disappointed with Lone's decision. "It is a national shame. Today he is standing tall on 80,000 bodies," said Zubiar Ahmad, a resident of Srinagar. "History has never forgiven traitors."
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090411/india_nm/india389965_1

I am not sure it is necessarily a good news. There is no change of heart, just of strategy.
 

Daredevil

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I'm very curious with this development. What will be the message to the Kashmiris or the world if Sajjad lone wins or loses the Loksabha election.

If he loses, it will be clear that they don't have support for the separatist movement at the ground level. If he wins, it can be two things, one-there is support for Kashmiri separatist movement and two- he is got elected because he is seen as a leader who could bring development to kashmir. Which one it will be?. I'll wait for the result.
 

Yusuf

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I think if he wins it could expose the separatists to Indian democracy and it's benefits even if with all the flaws. It will expose them to new ideas on how they can manage their state within the Indian Constitution
 

Vinod2070

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Good points raised. We have to wait and watch.

I think Sajjad lone is comparatively a moderate in that Taliban like crowd called the Hurriat. I am sure he is feeling suffocated among treacherous bigots like Gillani. If he wants to carve a separate path away from violence and useless anti-India rhetoric and actually wants to improve the lot of Kashmiris, we should let him have the chance to do it.
 

Yusuf

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Come on mate, apart from Gilani and Bhat, others are moderate and can be won over. They are also guys who are not interested in joining Pakistan. But the two I mentioned are hard core pro Pakistanis. The others are not as bad as Taliban
 

Vinod2070

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Come on mate, apart from Gilani and Bhat, others are moderate and can be won over. They are also guys who are not interested in joining Pakistan. But the two I mentioned are hard core pro Pakistanis. The others are not as bad as Taliban
I agree, but in a competitive extremist environment its the bigots who call the shots and silence the moderate. Gilani actually tried to become the sole leader of the Hurriat last year.

The agenda of Gilani and that Dukhtaran idiot women is comparable to Taliban. They are every bit as extremist though not all of Hurriat. Remember they never opposed the ethnic cleansing from the valley, in fact abated it.
 

Yusuf

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Yes that's why I said Gilani and Bhat are extremists
 

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