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Hurriyat calls for poll boycott
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, April 7
The separatist Hurriyat Conference leadership has expressed the hope that the next round of talks with the Centre in June would be based on “substantive issues” towards resolution of the vexed Kashmir problem. The leaders would also like to visit Pakistan to deliberate on the issue with the government there for which the Government of India “has no objection”, senior APHC leader Abdul Ghani Bhat said here.

Talking to media persons after a day-long meeting of the APHC general council and working committee and other senior religious leaders, Abdul Ghani Bhat said there was a “change in the attitudes of leaders in Delhi and Islamabad that would probably give something for the resolution of the Kashmir issue”. He said talks between India and Pakistan at various levels were going on, which discussed various issues, including Kashmir. He was briefing newsmen on the deliberations taken at today’s meeting of leaders from a cross section of society to apprise them of the recent negotiations with the Centre.

The APHC leader said it had asked the people to “stay away from electoral process” and extend support to its efforts for a “resolution of the Kashmir issue” as the elections were no answer to the problem. “This is as good as boycott”, he said and added that “we will be boycotting the electoral process”.

“We consider that electoral process is not the answer to the problem. We seek an answer to the problem and that is not in the polls. In spite of elections India and Pakistan fought wars”, Mr Bhat said. The meeting of its general council, working committee and senior religious leaders was called by the APHC leadership to apprise them of the second round of talks with Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani. The meeting also decided that the APHC would go to the people under its “meet the people programme” within the next 10 days.

When asked about the anti-election campaign launched by other separatist leaders Syed Alsi Shah Geelani and Shabir Shah, the Hurriyat leader said that it was also in the field. He added “we are against the election process... we are not part of it”, clarifying that it would go to the people in its own way. Bhat said that the election issue had not been taken up during the second round of talks with the Deputy Prime Minister.

Bhat said that the unity efforts among different constituents initiated by the APHC under the leadership of its founder Chairman, Mr Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, would continue. When asked about other leaders like Geelani to join the fold, Bhat said it was a conglomeration of like-minded parties and the “doors are open” for all. 


J&K BJP candidate Khan disqualified
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 7
Mr Mohammad Akbar Khan, BJP candidate from the Baramula parliamentary constituency in Jammu and Kashmir, has been disqualified by the Election Commission (EC) from contesting the Assembly poll in the state for three years.

His disqualification came into effect on April 7, 2003. However, he has not been barred from contesting the Lok Sabha elections.

Mr Khan’s name figures on the EC’s list of disqualified persons.

He had contested the September-October 2002 Assembly elections from the Uri constituency in Baramula district on a BJP ticket and polled 1,428 votes.

The list of 114 persons disqualified from contesting the Lok Sabha elections and 3,263 persons from contesting the Assembly poll also includes the name of the late Mohammad Yousuf Parray, a counter-insurgent-turned-politician, who was killed by militants last year.

The list includes four and 31 from the Lok Sabha and the Assembly poll, respectively, in Jammu and Kashmir.

Those barred from contesting the Lok Sabha poll are Mr Ghulam Nabi Mir (Baramula), Mr Moulvi (Srinagar), and Chowdhary Ram Saroop and Koshal Sharma (both from Jammu).

Those barred from contesting the Assembly poll are Mr Ranjeet Singh Sarhadi (Rafiabad), Mr Harbajan Singh Datta (Rafiabad), Mr Ghulam Mohamad Mir (Sopore), Mr Abdul Majid Mir (Sonawari), Mr Mohammad Ayub (Gulabgarh), Mr Mohammad Saleem Khan (Gulabgarh), Mr Bansi Lal Thakur (Reasi), Mr Gopal Krishan (Reasi), Santosh Suri (Reasi), Mr Abdul Hamid (Gool Arnas), Mr Lachman Singh (Gool Arnas), Mr Ravinder Kumar (Udhampur), Mr Sansar Chand (Udhampur), Mr Sanjay Kumar (Udhampur), Mr Kuldeep Singh (Udhampur), Mr Vishal Abrol (Udhampur), Mr Jagdish Singh (Ramnagar), Mr Shri Pati (Ramnagar), Mr Mushtaq Malik (Noorabad), Mr Abdul Rasheed Lone (Kulgam), Mr Mohammad Yousuf Lone (Kulgam), Mr Manzoor Ahmad (Kulgam), Mr Ghulam Rasool Bhat (Kulgam), Mr Ghulam Qadir Kulley (Devser), Mr Mohammad Sardar Khan (Dooru), Mr Habibul Rehman (Shanguss), Mr Abdul Hamid Reshi (Shanguss), Mr Mohammad Ashraf Thokroo (Bijbehara) and Mr Mohammad Yousuf Malik (Pahalgam).

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