Srinagar- The PDP on Wednesday said the Centre’s decision to abrogate Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 was an important issue and not the restoration of its statehood.
The party’s remarks came after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the Supreme Court on Tuesday that the Union Territory status of J-K is not a “permanent thing” and that the government will make an elaborate statement on restoring its statehood on August 31.
Speaking to reporters here, PDP chief spokesperson Suhail Bukhari alleged that the BJP wants to change the goalpost of the aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
“We know that the regime of the BJP and the RSS, from the beginning, want to change the goalpost of aspirational achievement of J-K. We used to talk about the solution of Kashmir. After that, they snatched statehood, and Union Territory was formed, then elections are not being conducted.
“They (BJP/RSS) wanted to change the goalpost. They want us to surrender to the situations so that we will be in those circumstances that we will ask just conduct the elections some or the other way,” Bukhari said.
He said the government wants the people to demand the restoration of statehood and not talk about the erstwhile state’s special status.
“The PDP stands for the resolution of Jammu and Kashmir. Whatever happened on August 5 has further complicated future problems of J-K. The question before the court is that the government of India has unilaterally, illegally and unconstitutionally snatched the special status – whether that entitlement was our right or not. The statehood restoration and the UT, these are not essentially important,” the PDP spokesperson said.
He said the larger question that needs to be addressed is whether the parent act and incident is “wrong”, and “our question” is still for the validity of the Centre’s decision.
“It suits the BJP and the RSS to change the goalpost so that the larger aspirations, questions will get aside. Hearing in the SC is going on, there are arguments on many points, but it does not mean that the focus is deviated from the main issues,” he added.
Bukhari said the party was satisfied with the way cogent arguments have been made in the top court by legal luminaries of the country in favour of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
“We hope that justice prevails and the idea of India prevails, constitutionalism prevails, the solemn promises prevail, that were made to people of Jammu and Kashmir by the leadership of this country in 1947 and afterwards. We hope that our identity is taken care off,” he said.
About the opposition bloc INDIA’s meeting in Mumbai on Thursday, the PDP chief spokesperson said the party looks forward to contribute positively to the alliance.
“We are of the opinion that the very existence of this country which hinges on the idea of the constitutionalism, the very democratic ethos of this country, are under severe attack by the current dispensation. It requires everyone, who is for constitutionality and democracy, to come together to ensure that these forces who disregard Constitution, who do not respect democracy, they ought to be challenged and for that all those people who are for democracy and constitution will have to come together,” he said.
Bukhari said it is a “real positive development” that the alliance has come together.
“They have several rounds of meetings, the one that is scheduled to be held in Maharashtra is yet another additional to the series of meetings and we look forward to contribute positively,” he said.
On Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s statement on China, Bukhari said it is an “open secret”.
“The only people who are unwilling to accept the truth are the people at the helm of affairs, the BJP. Otherwise, everyone else knows what the facts on the ground are and it is understandable the BJP would not acknowledge this because then they would have to answer many questions about what they are doing about it,” he said.
Raising the Sino-India border issue in Kargil last week, Gandhi had said everyone in Ladakh knows that China has “taken away our land”, claiming that the prime minister’s assertion that not an inch of land was occupied was “absolutely false”.
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