Abdullahs, Mufti and others in alliance for J&K’s special status

The announcement came after a meeting at National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah's Srinagar house

Abdullahs and Mufti
Meeting underway at National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah's residence in Srinagar | Photo: Twitter/ANI

Regional political parties in Kashmir on Thursday (October 15) gave a formal shape to their alliance that was formed following the revocation of special status of the erstwhile state last year, christening it as the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration.

The alliance seeks restoration of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir as it was before August 5 last year and to initiate a dialogue between all stakeholders in the issue.

The announcement came after a meeting at National Conference chief Dr. Farooq Abdullah’s Srinagar house, which was attended by PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, People’s Conference chairman Sajad Lone, People’s Movement leader Javaid Mir and CPI(M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami.

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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 NC chief 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,” said the former CM.

Abdullah said the alliance also seeks a dialogue between all stakeholders for resolution of the issue pertaining to Jammu and Kashmir. “We will be informing you about the future course of action in due course,” he added.

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 the NC chief as the Congress leader was advised by doctors to get himself medically examined including a COVID screening.

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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.

(With inputs from agencies)

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