Jammu and Kashmir People's Movement will not contest the upcoming parliamentary elections, its leader and former IAS officer Shah Faisal announced on Saturday.
However, he made it clear that the party will contest the legislative elections whenever they are conducted.
"We are a newly formed party. Jammu and Kashmir People's Movement is no longer just about Shah Faisal. After having discussions in the core committee, we have decided not to contest the upcoming parliamentary polls," Shah said addressing a Press Conference here.
Stating the reasons behind this decision, he said," First, that we are a newly formed party. Our focus is on people to people contact. Second, through this step, we want to reply to those people who were saying that this party has been brought by the Centre to increase electoral participation and manipulate the votes."
Faisal claimed that his party is not eyeing elections or power. "Jammu and Kashmir People's Movement is here to fight for a long time. We are here to restore the political and developmental rights of the people here and we are ready to wait for that," Shah Faisal said talking to reporters.
"We will decide soon which party our cadres should support (in the ensuing Lok Sabha elections)," he added.
On being asked about Legislative Assembly elections, he said, "Legislative elections are critical for us. Our special status is under attack. We will contest those elections whenever they will be held."
Faisal also criticised "custodial killing" of a teacher in police custody last week and demanded the arrest of officers responsible for it. "We know a magisterial inquiry is going on. We believe that only a judicial inquiry can take it to the (right) conclusion," he said.
He also condemned the death of a 12-year-old boy who was held hostage by the terrorists and killed during an encounter in Hajin yesterday, urging "both competent (security forces and terrorists)" to refrain from human rights violations.
Terming the central government's recently imposed ban on Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) as anti-democracy, he said, "This will further shrink the democratic space here".
Shah appreciated New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for her handling of the situation in the aftermath of Christchurch attack.
"We believe the kind of leadership she (Jacinda Ardern) had shown is an example for the leaders of South Asian region. We hope that leaders of our nation, our neighbouring nations and South Asian regions will take similar steps to ensure the protection of minorities," he said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)