Srinagar, Jul 1: Peoples Conference (PC) Chairman Sajad Gani Lone on Thursday said all Kashmiri leaders who participated in the recently held all-party meeting in New Delhi on June 24 made their people proud.
“I don’t think there was any single leader who did not make their people proud. All parties, especially from the Kashmir region, made their people proud. All spoke well and reflected the pain of the people. I as a Kashmir and not as a political leader felt proud that all leaders spoke for the people of Kashmir and reflected their pain in a befitting manner,” Lone told a news conference here.
Lone, who was flanked by senior PC leader Imran Reza Ansari and Syed Basharat Bukhari, said it is obvious that those who will go to New Delhi to represent people can never disrespect the sentiments of people.
“If I were to give marks, I would give equal marks to all Kashmiri leaders,” he said.
This was a rare departure from tradition wherein a Kashmiri leader refused to criticize his rivals and instead praised them.
Lone said they have to make New Delhi to deliver and create an enabling environment for facilitating delivery.
“As on date, there are no winners and losers. It is a long process. And we have to make an enabling environment for facilitating delivery. And that cannot be done by rhetoric. And if delivery becomes difficult there is only one loser. The only losers will be Kashmiris. All of us should understand that through rabble -rousing and rhetorical statements, we may address our constituency but then that may make delivery difficult. India is a land of elections. There is an election after every six or eight months,” he said.
Sajad also delinked polls with restoration of statehood. “I would say that the statehood should be restored now. Not as a matter of charity, but it is our right. I wouldn’t link elections with statehood,” he said.
Lone, whose party stayed away from the electoral process for two decades, said boycotting the election would not yield anything. “There is a need to understand that boycotting elections has yielded no results. We should look at the other side as well. Keeping us away from elections could be a trap. We have boycotted elections for 15-20 years. What if it is a trap to scare away all the good people and bring in their own people?” he asked.
Lone said his party will not boycott the electoral process.
“I will not say that I will boycott the elections and our party will contest. We are all equal. I am not more moral than them. I’m not superior to them. If something is haram (forbidden) for me, it is haram for them too,” he said.
Lone said that his party would participate in the ongoing delimitation process if it is invited. But he added that the process has to be fair within the regions and across the regions.
Senior PC leaders Raja Ejaz Ali, Abid Ansari and Muhammad Abbas Wani were also present on the occasion.