Take cue from Pakistan voters; Omar tells Kashmiris

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said Sunday that Kashmiris should take a cue from the voters in Pakistan and ignore future election boycott calls in the state.

Omar Abdullah posted a comment by Pakistan Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim on his micro blogging twitter site.

Ebrahim had said after casting his vote in Pakistan that “When good people do not vote, bad people benefit”.

Omar Abdullah Sunday re-tweeted the Pakistan chief election commissioner’s comment on his twitter site and said: “Good reason for Kashmiris to ignore boycott calls”. The state assembly elections are scheduled to be held in 2014.

Ever since the beginning of the separatist violence in Jammu and Kashmir in 1989, separatist leaders and guerrilla commanders have been calling for boycott of elections in the state.

While such calls had succeeded in bringing down the voting percentages in the Kashmir Valley alarmingly in early 1990s, people, especially those living in rural areas, have since been ignoring such separatist poll boycotts.

The latest example being the panchayat polls held in May 2011 in which an overwhelming number of Kashmiris turned out to choose their village heads.

The panchayat elections were held in Jammu and Kashmir after a gap of 29 years in 2011 and around 83 percent voters in the villages came out to exercise their franchise.

– IANS

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