Srinagar, Aug 22 (KINS): For the first time after over a year of stripping of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, regional parties, including the National Conference (NC), the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) the Congress, the J&K Peoples Conference (PC), the CPI(M) and the Awani National Conference (ANC), on Saturday announced that they would continue to fight for the restoration of Article 370.
“We all reiterate that we are bound, wholly, by the contents of the Gupkar Declaration and will unwaveringly adhere to it. We are committed to strive for the restoration of Articles 370 and 35A, the Constitution of J&K and the restoration of the State and any division of the State is unacceptable to us. We unanimously reiterate that there can be ‘nothing about us without us’,” said a joint statement of these parties as per news agency KINS.
The statement was jointly issued by NC’s Dr. Farooq Abdullah, PDP’s Mehbooba Mufti, Congress’ G.A. Mir, CPI (M) M.Y. Tarigami, PC’s Sajad Gani Lone, ANC’s Muzaffar Shah.
“The signatories to the Gupkar Declaration of August 4, 2019, have barely managed to establish a basic level of communication with each other in the face of a series of prohibitive and punitive curbs imposed by the government, aimed at impeding all social and political interactions. The limited confabulations held within the constraints imposed have resulted in this unanimous resolution. The unfortunate events of August 5, 2019, have unrecognisably changed the relationship between Jammu and Kashmir and New Delhi,” the statement reads.
“In a spitefully short-sighted and unconstitutional move, Articles 370 and 35A were abrogated and the state was bifurcated and relegated to the status of two Union Territories and its Constitution tried to be made unenforceable. The series of measures undertaken on August 5, 2019, were grossly unconstitutional and in reality measures of disempowerment and a challenge to the basic identity of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. The measures attempt to redefine who we are. These changes were accompanied by repressive measures meant to silence people and coerce them into submission, and continue unabated,” the statement added.
Prior to stripping of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, the leaders had met at the Gupkar residence of Abdullah here and drafted the Gupkar declaration.
Earlier on August 20, Abdullah had told reporters that he was in constant touch with Mehbooba and that they stood by the Gupkar declaration.
Asserting that these were “testing times and times of pain for the peace-loving people of Jammu and Kashmir”, the joint statement said: “We all reiterate our commitment to collectively fight to restore the Special Status of J-K as guaranteed under the Constitution and the commitments made from time to time. There is unanimity amongst us that collective institutions are the effective way to fight for these rights and tirelessly struggle to get back the special status and restore the Constitutional guarantees forcibly taken away, against our will. We want to assure the people that all our political activities will be subservient to the sacred goal of reverting to the status of J-K as it existed on August 4, 2019.”
“We all reiterate that we are bound, wholly, by the contents of the Gupkar declaration and will unwaveringly adhere to it. We are committed to strive for the restoration of Articles 370 and 35A, the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir and the restoration of the state and any division of the state is unacceptable to us. We unanimously reiterate that there can be ‘nothing about us without us’”, the statement added.