Franchise to Indian citizens in IIOJK exposes Modi regime’s colonial agenda: APHC


All Parties Hurriyat Conference leaders while condemning Indian occupation authorities’ sinister move to grant voting rights to Indian citizens in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, have said that the Modi regime’s agenda of settler colonialism has begun to show its true colours.

In a statement released in Srinagar on Thursday, illegally detained senior APHC leader Nayeem Ahmad Khan highlighting the dangerous dimensions of the decision said that granting voting rights to non-state subjects would drastically change the region’s political landscape besides influencing the outcome of election results in the future.

This, he said, was something the RSS and other Hindutva ideologues had been dreaming for. “Allowing outsiders/non-state subjects to cast vote in a disputed territory and ignoring the region’s age-old laws is not only a brazen violation of the UN resolutions but also a violation of Indian law”, he said, adding that under Section 17 and 18 of R.P. Act, 1950, a person cannot be enrolled as a voter in more than one place. He said that rather following rules and procedure the so-called election commission was working on the whims and fantasies of the governor whose status in Kashmir was not more than an agent of the BJP government.

Other APHC leaders and organizations including Farida Behanji, Abdul Ahad Parra, Yasmeen Raja, Zamrooda Habib, Ghulam Muhammad Khan Sopori, Khadim Hussain, Syed Sibte Shabbir Qummi, Shabbir Ahmad Dar, Imtiaz Reshi, Javed Ahmad Mir, Chaudhry Shaheen Iqbal and Ittehad-e-Islami in their statements said that granting outsiders voting rights on their arrival in IIOJK and the right to settle over the lands of the native Kashmiri people are the obvious manifestations of settler colonialism, in vogue since Indian revoked article 370 and 35-A in 2019 in IIOJK.

They said that the ultimate goal of Indian settler colonialism was marginalization and elimination of indigenous people.

Terming it as deep-rooted conspiracy to minimize the Muslim majority community’s role and representation in the state legislature, the APHC leaders said, “The purpose behind this new scheme was to grant political leverage and tilt power of balance in favour of the BJP that has since long been dreaming to install its chief minister in the territory thereby changing electoral landscape of the territory.

Kashmiris, they said, have time and again raised their concern over India’s settler colonialism in the region but it was very unfortunate that their concerns and pleas fell on deaf ears. “Instead of watching the situation like a silent spectator, the leaders added, it was high time that the world should hold the Indian government accountable for its crimes in Kashmir and stop the BJP government from changing the IIOJK’s demography.

Urging people of Kashmir to come forward in a big way to foil India’s nefarious designs, the APHC leaders said that conscious Kashmiris should thwart the apartheid regime’s conspiracy aimed at reducing Kashmiris to third-grade citizens in their own homeland.

Senior APHC-AJK leader Muhammad Farooq Rehmani said India’s colonial moves to register its citizens as voters in IIOJK and a dangerous campaign to demolish houses of Kashmiris are aimed at changing the demography of the disputed territory. He said the Modi regime is flouting the International law, UN resolutions and Pakistan-India agreements and urged the UN to take cognizance of the Indian formidable steps and serious violation in occupied Kashmir.

APHC-AJK leader Altaf Ahmed Butt in his statement in Islamabad also expressed his strong resentment over the statement of the Chief Electoral Officer of IIOJK that every citizen of India staying in the territory can have voting rights in the Assembly elections.

Allowing non-locals to vote in Assembly Elections will be disastrous and a ploy to change the demographic status of Kashmir, he added.

The Chairman of Pasban-e-Hurriyat Jammu and Kashmir, Uzair Ahmed Ghazali in a statement in Muzaffarabad deplored that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is active in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir to promote its anti-Kashmir agenda and its conspiratorial ambitions of imposing a Hindu Chief Minister on the Muslim majority territory.

He said the right to vote to Indian citizens, who are staying in IIOJK in connection with their job or business, will be the worst attack on the Muslim identity of the territory.

Mushaal Hussein Mullick, the Chairperson of Peace and Culture Organisation, in a statement in Islamabad said that after committing the daylight constitutional robbery on August 5, 2019 stripping special status of Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, the fascist Indian government was now granting franchise to the Indian citizens in so-called assembly polls.—KMS