Politics Returns: Unionist Parties Form ‘Peoples Alliance’

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J&K’s major political parties formalise alliance to fight for restoration of pre-Aug 5, 2019 status

Srinagar: Major mainstream political parties here on Thursday formalised an alliance to fight for restoration of the special status of the erstwhile state as it existed before August 5 last year and also to initiate a dialogue between all stakeholders in the issue.

The meeting was held at the residence of National Conference president Farooq Abdullah and attended by PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, Peoples Conference chairman Sajad Lone, Peoples Movement leader Javaid Mir and CPIM leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami.

Briefing reporters after the nearly two-hour meeting, Abdullah said the leaders decided to formalise the alliance, that has been named ‘Peoples’ Alliance for Gupkar Declaration’.

The National Conference president said the alliance will strive for restoration of the constitutional position in respect of Jammu and Kashmir as it existed before August 5 last year.

“We shall struggle for restoration of what was snatched from Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh. Ours is a constitutional battle … we would strive for restoration of the constitution (with regard to Jammu and Kashmir) as it existed on August 5, 2019,” he said.

Abdullah said the alliance also seeks a dialogue between all stakeholders for resolution of the issue pertaining to Jammu and Kashmir.

Abdullah also said that steps should also be taken for resolution of Kashmir issue.

“We feel the political issue of the state has to be resolved as quickly as possible. And that can only be resolved through dialogue through peaceful means with all the stakeholders who are involved in the problem of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

“We will be informing you about the future course of action in due course,” he added.

NC patron also termed Mehbooba’s 14-month detention as “unjustified, illegal and unconstitutional”

“We also demand immediate release of all those people who continue to remain in prison,” he said.

The veteran politician further said that the next meeting of the signatories will be held in coming days to decide on future course of action.

National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah and other senior leaders of the party were also present at the meeting.

JKPCC chief Ghulam Ahmad Mir could not attend the meeting “due to medical reasons”

A spokesperson of the party said Mir had conveyed his inability to attend the meeting to Farooq Abdullah as the Congress leader was advised by doctors to get himself medically examined including a COVID screening.

Abdullah said the meeting congratulated the PDP president on her release from 14 months of detention which they said was “completely illegal and unjustified”.

On August 4 last year, all major political parties in Kashmir, except BJP, had met at the residence of Farooq Abdullah amidst uncertainty and tension in the erstwhile state as the Centre had rushed additional paramilitary forces there while asking all tourists including Amarnath pilgrims to leave the Valley as soon as possible.

The joint statement issued by the political parties, expressing concern over the situation, came to be known as the Gupkar Declaration.

The Centre revoked the special constitutional status of the state and also bifurcated it into two union territories — Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

In a follow up, the political parties had met again in August this year and vowed to fight for restoration of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.

This is the second time in Jammu & Kashmir since 1947 when such a number of political groups have joined hands over an issue.

In 1987, several political parties had formed “Muslim United Front” to take on NC- Congress combine.

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