No electoral process has any direct or indirect bearing on the future dispensation of Kashmir dispute: Altaf Wani

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Chairman Kashmir Institute of International Relations, Altaf Hussain Wani has said that no electoral process whatsoever has any direct or indirect bearing on the future dispensation of the dispute on Jammu and Kashmir. Commenting on the Loksaba elections being held in the Indian held territory Jammu and Kashmir in absence of independent observers and the international media, the KIIR chief said, “The UN Security Council had passed a historic resolution declaring that no electoral process in Kashmir will in any case affect the nature of the dispute as well as its future dispensation”, said a press release.

The UN Security Council Resolution 122 (1957), he said, stated that “The final disposition of the State of Jammu and Kashmir will be made in accordance with the will of the people expressed through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite conducted under the auspices of the United Nations.” Wani said, the resolution clearly stated that the convening of a Constituent Assembly as recommended by the General Council of the “All Jammu and Kashmir National Conference” and any action that Assembly might attempt to take to determine the future shape and affiliation of the entire State or any part thereof would not constitute a disposition of the State. Similarly, he said, the UNSC also noted in its Resolution 122 of Jan 24, 1957, that sham Indian electoral exercises cannot amount to a substitute for impartial plebiscite envisioned by its resolutions. “The UN resolution also emphasizes that any elections held in Kashmir cannot prejudice the final disposition of the state or have any bearing on the dispute or its resolution.”, he added. He made it clear that elections were always held with a view to set up an administration to govern the people in order to provide them orderly life. “To determine future of a particular region or people, if and when it is disputed, you don’t hold elections but a plebiscite”, Wani said, adding that unlike elections the plebiscite is held once in the entire life of a nation. He said that the Indian rulers who were trying to mislead the world by manipulating election results, and voting turn out must draw a line between elections and a referendum. The referendum, he said, is organized in a region wherein the peoples’ aspirations are required to be ascertained. Terming Kashmir as an internationally recognized disputed territory, the KIIR chief said that Hurriyat’s stance on the issue was very much clear that the so-called elections held under the shadow of guns cannot be a substitute to plebiscite. While discussing Kashmir as a dispute with reference to the electoral process, he made it clear that masses’ participation in the electoral process or any style of the voting by the people be it be brisk or just sluggish don’t really matter.
He said that the electoral process has to be viewed with reference to the grievances and the problems of the people.
These elections are meant to setup government or local administration to solve the problems facing the people domestically. Referring to the UNSC resolutions, he said, “No government can claim to be the final arbiter of the future of a state”. He said that it were the people of the state who were the final arbiters. He said that in Kashmir the local government or administration is not the final arbiter with reference to future dispensation. “It is the people of Kashmir who are the architects of their destiny”, Wani said. He said even the voters in Jammu and Kashmir have made it clear that they vote neither for anybody nor against anybody but just to ensure that their problems and grievances are addressed. He said that it was imperative that while discussing Kashmir let us not mix-up the future dispensation with electoral process. He said that the APHC that represents a sizable majority of the Kashmiri masses and their aspirations had taken a position earlier on that elections constitute no issue. “Hurriyat had made it clear time and again that so far as the final settlement of the Kashmir dispute is concerned election is not the answer and it has never been the answer”, he added. He said that the Indian government needs to realize that there could be no peace in the region unless the issue of Kashmir was addressed in its historical perspective. He said that Indian rulers must realize that they can no longer hoodwink the global community by peddelling baseless narrative on Kashmir or through manipulation of election results. ” It is only through resolution of this lingering dispute that we will be able to ensure a brighter future and a better region for the people in South Asia”, Wani said.