DATE=9/23/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=INDIA / SEPARATIST (L ONLY) NUMBER=2-254251 BYLINE=PAMELA D'SOUZA DATELINE=NEW DELHI CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: In India, the leader of a Kashmiri separatist party says the government of India (on Thursday) denied him permission to go to New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly session. As Pamela D'souza reports from New Delhi, Kashmiri separatists are seeking a U-N brokered referendum on separate statehood for Kashmir. TEXT: Omar Farooq, the Mirwaiz or hereditary religious leader of Kashmir's Muslim population, was prevented from leaving for New York by officials at New Delhi's International Airport. The Kashmiri separatist leader says he intended to represent the people of Kashmir at the U-N General Assembly session, where Islamic countries have been granted observer status. Mr. Farooq said, while in New York, he would also attend a meeting of the International Organization of Islamic countries, where his party, the All Party Hurryat Conference, has observer status. Mr. Farooq said he also hoped to meet U-S State department officials to brief them on the situation in Kashmir. Kashmiri separatists want the United Nations to organize a referendum on the future status of Kashmir. They compare their situation to those seeking independence in East Timor - a claim the Indian Government says is absurd. India has so far refused to comment on why Mr. Farooq was denied permission to leave the country. Mr. Farooq says India does not want Kashmir on the UN's agenda. // FAROOQ ACT // I think it vindicates my stand that India doesn't want that we should go and tell the facts to the world. Because what other reason is there; if they say that their policy's transparent and they have nothing to hide, why are they worried that if a Hurryat representative goes to the world and goes to the UN. If they are confident about their policy in Kashmir, about the approach to Kashmir, why should they be, what do you call, feel uncomfortable allowing the people from Kashmir to go and speak their mind to the world. // END ACT // Kashmiri separatists have called for an election boycott in Kashmir during India's staggered month-long general elections that end on October 3rd. Mr. Farooq says the elections are a farce and he accuses Indian security personnel of forcing people to vote. So far few voters in Kashmir have bothered to vote in the elections. Mr. Farooq's All Party Hurryat Conference says it wants Kashmir to be a separate state. India controls two thirds of Kashmir and Pakistan one third but both countries claim the region in its entirety. (Signed) NEB/PD'S/KL 23-Sep-1999 10:45 AM EDT (23-Sep-1999 1445 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .