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Slap on Musharraf's face

Slap on Musharraf's face

Author: Editorial
Publication: The Free Press Journal
Date: September 21, 2002
URL: http://www.samachar.com/features/210902-editorial.html

We once again salute the fearless, peace-loving and democratic people of Kashmir. Braving the worst threats, setting at nought the possibility of being murdered (the number of murders on the eve of elections would have daunted any people) and craving for a working, democratic set-up in the state, 44/48 percent of the people came out and cast their votes in the first phase of the state elections.

But the self-appointed Pakistan President would not see what happened on election day. He had already termed the poll a farce. And the Kashmir people's reply to the dictator across the border has been telling.

A large number of diplomats of the European Community and the US had travelled to some of the militant- infested areas to see for themselves what was hap-pening on election day. All of them have congratulated the Kashmir people on the determination with which they came out to vote, even if they had to face the Pak mercenaries' bullets.

Now, US ambassador Blackwill has categorically stated that elections in the first phase have been a positive signal to India that the people of Kashmir do want elections which will lead to the formation of a caring, working government in Srinagar. What is more, the US ambassador, on his own, told the media that President Bush did remind Musharraf of his failure to honour his commitment to end cross-border infiltration once and for all. Which Musharraf has been denying. All European Union diplomats are satisfied that the elections have been fair and free, though one of them has referred to the army personnel alerting people to go out and vote. Even that diplomat has conceded that anybody can tell a voter to exercise his franchise as long as no one is forced to vote for any particular candidate.

One feels sorry for the Hurriyat because they have easily fallen a prey to the deliberate miscalculations of Pakistan to mislead the people and Hurriyat. The people have defied the Pak threats and Hurriyat's fiat to boycott the elections. If the first phase is any indication, the next

three phases would firmly and finally call Musharraf's bluff about the freedom struggle that is going on in Kashmir by which he means the heinous and cruel murders committed by hired militants sent from Pakistan. Which brings one to Musharraf. His internal compulsions and survival depend entirely on keeping the Kashmir cauldron boiling. He has admitted that no government in Pakistan can survive, if it gives up Kashmir.

Which means that continuous infiltration is inevitable. In the last few days, hundreds have crossed the LoC, many of whom have fallen to the bullets of the Indian army. But the poison of fanaticism is so concentrated that an ever increasing line of infiltrators are ready at the border to do Pak ISI's bidding.

Now that elections are proving a great blow to Musharraf's ambitions, infiltration has to be redoubled, in spite of what the US would advise its client. Musharraf knows that Bush cannot go beyond a point as long as the US is in trouble in Afghanistan. But Musharraf is unlikely to see the writing on the election wall.

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