Politicians across the spectrum unite in J&K
Six parties in Jammu and Kashmir came together under the People’s Alliance for the Gupkar Declaration which will fight for the restoration of Article 370.
More than a year ago, anticipating a constitutional earthquake in the offing, political leaders across the spectrum met at Farooq Abdullah’s Gupkar residence to sign a declaration ensuring that regional parties and the Congress will fight to preserve J&K special status and prevent any kind of dilution of these privileges. Just two days later on August 5, the Centre announced the dissolution of Articles 370 and 35A and the bifurcation of the state into two union territories.
Many of the leaders who had been taken into preventive custody at that time weren’t released for several months. The Abdullahs was released in March and the latest to be released was former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti who was finally freed last week. The all-party meeting called once again at the Abdullah residence condemned her 14-month detention, calling it “illegal and unjustified”. They also announced their intention to chalk out a future course of action of the Gupkar Declaration, which was given a proper name and structure by the original signatories present.
The meeting saw the attendance of key political figures from the major parties – J&K National Conference, People’s Democratic Party, Peoples Conference chairman Sajad Lone, the Awami National Conference, Peoples Movement leader Javaid Mir, and CPIM leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami were all present for the two-hour-long meeting, in addition to Omar Abdullah and other senior leaders from the various parties. Ghulam Ahmed Mir, president of the J&K Congress was absent because he had to be screened for COVID-19.
Speaking to the media after the meet, Farooq Abdullah said that their battle is a constitutional one and that they will seek a dialogue between all stakeholders for the restoration of J&K’s rights and the resolution of Kashmir.