NC Shifts Goal Post, Demand J&K’s 1953 Position


Srinagar: The National Conference on Saturday demanded restoration of pre-August 9, 1953 position of Jammu and Kashmir, saying the ruling BJP government has to accept the ‘reality’ and ‘return’ what was snatched away from the people of the erstwhile state through a unilateral decision last year.

“BJP has to accept reality and restore Articles 370 sooner or later. We also demand the August 9, 1953 position of Jammu and Kashmir to be restored in its original form. Sheikh Sahab had warned beforehand the challenges Article 370 could face and asked people to stand united to save internal autonomy of the state,” NC General Secretary, Ali Muhammad Sagar said Saturday.

Sagar was speaking to reporters at the mausoleum of NC founder Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah on his 115th birth anniversary.

The NC leader said that the efforts of party president, Dr Farooq Abdullah of bringing all regional political parties on a single platform were being appreciated everywhere.

He also said the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) was formed to bring all regional political parties on a single platform to fight for the restoration of the special constitutional position of Jammu and Kashmir.

He said the political party’s needs to stay united at this juncture and fight for the restoration of Article 370 than to fight with each other.

Terming the NC founder as a visionary leader, he said Sheikh had warned the people that the special constitutional position of Jammu and Kashmir would face challenges and that they need to stand united to save internal autonomy of the state.

On the other hand, NC Parliamentarian from north Kashmir, Mohammad Akbar Lone said that his party will fight for the restoration of Article 370 come what may. He said BJP which claims that the special status of Jammu and Kashmir cannot be restored is highly mistaken.

“BJP is highly mistaken if it says that Article 370 stands buried or cannot be restored. We will fight for its restoration come what may,” Lone added.

Meanwhile, the NC leaders paid rich tributes to party founder on his birth anniversary.

Led by NC president Farooq Abdullah, the party leaders and workers held a commemorative function at the mausoleum of Sheikh Abdullah at Naseem Bagh on the banks of the Dal Lake here to mark the occasion.

Besides Farooq Abdullah, his son and National Conference (NC) vice president Omar Abdullah, Lok Sabha members Hasnain Masoodi and Mohammad Akbar Lone were among several leaders who visited the grave of the party founder.

Farooq Abdullah did not hold the customary interaction with the media due to some unruly scenes created by a group of journalists.

The 114th birth anniversary of Sheikh Abdullah could not be observed last year as most of the top leaders of the party, including Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah, were under detention following the scrapping of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status. (With inputs from agencies)




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