An Open Letter To The Prime Minister of India


The Kashmiri electorate, especially youth,  has the right to choose their own representatives, without any back door political deal between the NC and the Congress. A fair election is the need of the hour.  Restoring confidence in the electoral process is the way forward for Kashmiris who wrestle daily with power shortages, political unrest and a destabilizing regional strategy that has not accomplished peace and security in everyday life.  No pre-poll alliance by any party, in advance of voters casting their ballots is in the best interest of Valley civil society and good governance. Let Kashmiris speak in their own individual voices at the polling booth if they want to.  No party can tell Kashmiris how to vote and who to vote for.  Let the people decide, with each vote they cast, without interference from political operatives who don’t want to put Kashmir first.

There are several compelling reasons national, regional, inter-regional, global and geopolitical — why it is crucial in 2014, for Kashmiris to have the opportunity to vote their conscience, their dignity, their right to heal as a family and as a people.  The problem is not the Kashmiri people,  but their corrupt and opportunistic, greedy ‘leaders’ who play politics every day with their  lives, depriving them of peace, stability and security, quality education, power resources, job opportunities and a path to prosperity. Any backdoor deals  that overturn the political will of the Kashmiri electorate may well endanger the prospects to build a just and lasting peace in the Valley.  55% of all Valley youth will have reached voting age by 2014, a game-changer if youth participate in the election. The majority of youth are disillusioned and cynical about their current leaders and representatives.  However the youth are leaning forward and not holding back.   They want to have a say in their own future.  The youth are sick and tired of being exploited by selfish and self-interested politicians and their surrogates. They may well play a critical role in changing the outcome of the election. If they detect a behind the scenes power play to devalue their vote and disenfranchise their voice on issues of education and jobs, they may take to the streets to express their outrage.

Therefore any tactical influence on Kashmir elections may lead to long term consequences and re subscription of anti India sentiment. Let Kashmiris vote their dignity.

Thanks you,

Yours Truly,

Waheed Ur Rehman

Pulwama Kashmir

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