Srinagar- People’s Conference president Sajad Gani Lone on Wednesday said his party will strive politically and legally for restoration of the special status to Jammu and Kashmir that was repealed by the Centre in 2019.
“Jammu and Kashmir had a legacy which was destroyed in 2019. We will strive to get that legacy back, be it politically or legally. And if there is any sacrifice to be made for it, it should be the leadership and not the children of ordinary masses,” Lone said after taking oath as People’s Conference president for a four-year term.
Lone, who was elected president of the party unopposed earlier this month, hit out at Jammu and Kashmir’s oldest regional party, National Conference, saying they cannot claim to lead the people when they were responsible for the mess people are in.
Sajad Lone attacked NC patron Farooq Abdullah left, right and centre, accusing him of being responsible for the mayhem Kashmir was plunged into by the rigging of 1987 elections.
“One who does not talk about the 1987 elections, the rigging that happened in those elections, he will never understand the Kashmir issue. If 1987 had not happened, would the gun infiltrate here? Would there be so many new graveyards? Who filled those graveyards? No one is asking this question,” Lone said, blaming the National Conference for rigging the assembly elections which is believed to have led to the eruption of militancy.
The PC president said those who punished youngsters and sent them to Kathua and Hira Nagar jails cannot represent Kashmiris.
Sajad Lone said while Farooq Abdullah made a chief minister out of his son Omar Abdullah, JKLF chief Yasin Malik was slapped with nine cases and put behind bars for becoming election agent of opposition candidate in 1987.
“Farooq Abdullah became the leader and he made his son a chief minister. Yasin Malik was slapped with nine cases and sent to jail for becoming an election agent of an opposition candidate. And he is still in jail. Malik took to arms, we do not support that, but is anyone asking why he took up a gun? Who put him on that path?” he asked.
Lone said those who questioned the National Conference from time to time were labelled as agents of New Delhi.
“When my father Abdul Gani Lone, Jamaat-e-Islami and Muslim United Front questioned them, they were dubbed as agents of New Delhi. Those who were labelled as agents of New Delhi spent their lives in jails,” he said.
Lone said that leadership in the present “challenging times means rising up to the occasion and rescuing the Kashmiris.”
“The leadership has to save the youth from bullets and jails,” he said.
Lone further asserted that People’s Conference is the party that has the legacy of sacrifice and will continue to strive to accord people a dignified way of living.
“We will make every effort to promote political inclusiveness and tirelessly strive to restore and retrieve the glorious political legacy that the people of J&K deserve. A unique legacy which we all cherished and zealously guarded for so long. We will do what it takes to ensure that legacy is restored,” he added
Those present on the occasion included Abdul Gani Vakil, Imran Reza Ansari, Nizamudin Bhat, Syed Mansoor Hussain, Mir Fayaz, Nazir Laway, Bashir Ahmed Dar, Abid Ansari, Khursheed Alam, Raja Aijaz Ali, Mohammad Abbas Wani, Yasir Reshi, Ashraf Mir, Hilal Rather, Irfan Ansari, Irfan Panditpori, Rasheed Mehmood besides others.
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