J&K political parties

J&K political parties bury decades-old differences, join hands to fight for restoration of Article 370, Statehood

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August 5 events have unrecognizably changed relationship between J&K, New Delhi: Joint statement of J&K political parties NC, PDP, PC, Cong, CPI (M), ANC

In a significant political development, all major political forces in Jammu & Kashmir on Saturday buried their decades-old differences and joined hands to fight for restoration of J&K’s special status and statehood.

Taking everyone by surprise, the signatories of Gupkar declaration- National Conference, Peoples Democratic Party, Peoples Conference, Congress, CPI(M) and Awami National Conference- today said they are “committed to strive for the restoration of Articles 370 and 35A, the Constitution of J&K and the restoration of the State and any division of the State is unacceptable to us.”

They reiterated that they are bound, wholly, by the contents of the Gupkar Declaration and will unwaveringly adhere to it.

Rejecting the unilateral constitutional changes effected by BP-led central government, the parties maintained that “series of measures undertaken on 5th August 2019 were grossly unconstitutional and in reality measures of disempowerment and a challenge to the basic identity of the people of J&K.

“The signatories to the GUPKAR DECLARATION of 4th August 2019 have barely managed to establish basic level of communication with each other in the face of a series of prohibitive and punitive curbs imposed by the government, aimed at impeding all social and political interactions. The limited confabulations held within the constraints imposed have resulted in this unanimous resolution,” said.

The statement reads that the unfortunate events of 5th August 2019 have unrecognizably changed the relationship between J&K and New Delhi.

“In a spitefully shortsighted and unconstitutional move, Articles 370 and 35A were abrogated and the State was bifurcated and relegated to the status of two Union Territories and its Constitution tried to be made unenforceable.The measures attempt to redefine who we are. These changes were accompanied by repressive measures meant to silence people and coerce them into submission, and continue unabated,” the statement reads.

The political parties reiterated their commitment to collectively fight to restore the Special Status of J&K as guaranteed under the Constitution and the commitments made from time to time.

Journalism faces a tough challenge in Kashmir

“There is unanimity amongst us that collective institution is the effective way to fight for these rights and tirelessly struggle to get back the special status and restore the Constitutional guarantees forcibly taken away, against our will. We want to assure the people that all our political activities will be subservient to the sacred goal of reverting to the status of J&K as it existed on 4th August 2019,” said.

In the joint statement, the political parties urged the people of India, the political parties for their “unstinted support to our just cause till the unconstitutional measures of 5th August 2019 are undone and the special status of J&K restored”.

“We exhort leadership of the subcontinent to take due notice of the ever increasing skirmishes at the LAC and LOC resulting in casualties on both sides and unabated violent incidents in J&K and work for enduring peace in the region,” the statement reads.

The signatories of joint statement are Dr. Farooq Abdullah, (JKNC),Mehbooba Mufti (JKPDP), Sajad Gani Lone(JKPC), GA Mir (JKPCC) ,M Y Tarigami, (CPI (M)) and Muzaffar Shah (JKANC).

Former Union minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram also welcomed a joint resolution of six national and regional parties in Jammu and Kashmir, and appealed to them to stand “resolutely” behind their demand for restoration of special status of the erstwhile state.

Salute the unity and courage of six mainstream Opposition parties who came together yesterday (Saturday) to fight the repeal of Article 370,” tweeted the former Union minister, who held portfolios like home and finance. Six political parties, including the National Conference and its arch rival PDP, issued the resolution making clear that there can be “nothing about us without us”, a statement which clearly indicated that the Centre has to take into confidence people of Jammu and Kashmir before implementing any constitutional change.

Important points

“That all the parties would be united in their resolve to protect and defend identity, autonomy, and the special status of the JK State against all attacks and onslaughts whatsoever.”

“That the modification, abrogation of articles 35A, 370, trifurcation of the State or unconstitutional delimitation would be an aggression against the people of Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh.”

“That the parties participating in the meeting resolved to seek an audience with the President and Prime Minister of India and the leaders of other political parties to apprise them of the current situation and make an appeal to them to safeguard the legitimate interests of the people of State with regard to constitutional guarantees given to the State under the constitution of our country.”

BJP dismissed declaration

The call was immediately dismissed by the BJP as “an attempt by leaders to show their political presence.”

Srinagar-based BJP leader Hina Bhat said: “I don’t think this kind of declaration is going to have any effect in Kashmir. It’s just an attempt to show their political presence.

“We don’t need Articles 370 and 35A for the development of Kashmir. We don’t need any other articles to be restored or removed. What we need is development and everyday peace in Kashmir,” she added.

BJP jammu and Kashmir president Ravinder Raina said “Restoration of Article 370 and 35 (A) is next to impossible. These Articles only resulted in a wall of hatred and poor growth and development of J&K”.

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