PAGD Urges Govt To Restore J&K Special Status

KO Photo By Abid Bhat

Srinagar- The People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) on Saturday asked the Centre to go for a dispassionate appraisal of its decision to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, claiming that such an exercise will lead to the realisation of gross violation of the Constitution and betrayal of the people.

The PAGD released a white paper -- titled 'Betrayal' -- on Jammu and Kashmir post-abrogation of its special status, after a meeting of the alliance at the residence of National Conference president Farooq Abdullah here.

"The Government of India must without losing any time go for a dispassionate appraisal of the August 2019 assault on the special status and territorial integrity of State of Jammu and Kashmir. On such introspection, the Government of India will undoubtedly realise that it has not been only a misadventure but gross violation of the Constitution and a huge betrayal," the PAGD said in its 38-page white paper.

The alliance said that it will be sufficiently clear that the unilateral and unethical decisions pushed the entire region to uncertainty and widened the gulf between the people of Jammu and Kashmir and the rest of the country and above all resulted in an avoidable drain on the scarce and precious resources to maintain calm on the streets.

Calling upon the Centre to undo its decisions of 2019, the PAGD said the autonomous status of Jammu and Kashmir should be restored.

"The Government of India should urgently undertake an exercise of introspection and course correction, revoke all the decisions taken in August 2019 and restore the autonomous status of Jammu and Kashmir.

"The least, the Government of India could do, is to grant real autonomy to the J&K state as envisioned by the Constituent Assembly of India and ratified by the Constituent Assembly of Jammu & Kashmir. And work out legal mechanism in consultation with the J&K legislature of real political and administrative devolutions to the respective regions and sub-regions within the framework of that autonomy," it added.

The alliance said any attempt or any plan of proposals for divisions, bifurcations and trifurcations must be rejected.

"This is bound to communalise the regions and communities permanently. A careful and elaborate mechanism for the process of reconciliation and sustainable peace has to be worked out.

"At the same time, we appeal to the people of all the regions, sub regions, ethnic groups and communities of the state that we must uphold and strengthen our age-old relationship and resolve to move forward to shape our future together. Our people have passed through tragedies and our recent past has been quite painful. Tragedies cannot and should not divide us further. Grievances, if any, can be addressed and removed; but in no case should these weaken the historic bonds of our relationship. Any division on any pretext would be detrimental to this cherished goal," it added.

The PAGD appealed to Parliament, all secular democratic parties and the civil society at large to realise the serious consequences of the abrogation of Article 370.

"We also call upon them to analyse whether the projected objectives and the narrative built up in favour of the regressive decision of doing away with the special position of the erstwhile state, are justified or are the result of divisive and highly authoritarian policies of the government. This should not be seen as an isolated instance or aberration but a serious attack on federalism and democracy," it said.

"They must come forward and raise their voice against this unconstitutional assault on the rights of the people of Jammu & Kashmir. We all must unitedly struggle in defense of democracy, federalism and unity of our people," the alliance said.

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