Srinagar: A day after her release, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti Wednesday met senior Valley-based politicians, including Srinagar MP Farooq Abdullah and National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah, at her residence.
After the meeting, Omar, who has served as the CM of the erstwhile state of J&K, took to Twitter and said Mehbooba had accepted an invite from the party to attend a meeting of the Gupkar Declaration signatories, which include senior Kashmiri leaders from both regional and national parties.
“My father & I called on @MehboobaMufti Sahiba this afternoon to enquire about her well-being after her release from detention. She has kindly accepted Farooq Sb’s invitation to join a meeting of the Gupkar Declaration signatories tomorrow (Thursday) afternoon,” he wrote.
My father & I called on @MehboobaMufti Sahiba this afternoon to enquire about her well-being after her release from detention. She has kindly accepted Farooq Sb’s invitation to join a meeting of the Gupkar Declaration signatories tomorrow afternoon. pic.twitter.com/MR9IQPFW2T
— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) October 14, 2020
Responding to the tweet, Mehbooba wrote: “It was nice of you & Farooq sahab to come home. It gave me courage listening to him. I’m sure together we all can change things for the better”.
It was nice of you & Farooq sahab to come home. It gave me courage listening to him. Im sure together we all can change things for the better. https://t.co/48yc39Wjhb
— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) October 14, 2020
Mehbooba, who was booked under the stringent Public Safety Act (PSA), was lodged in various government facilities that were converted into sub-jails since 5 August last year when the Modi government revoked Article 370.
In April, the PDP chief was moved to her residence at Gupkar Road. Her PSA order was revoked after a detention of over 14 months.
A day before the scrapping of Article 370, all major political parties had met at Farooq Abdullah’s Gupkar Road residence in Srinagar, and vowed to protect the special status of the state. It was then that the parties had signed and issued the ‘Gupkar Declaration’.
‘Opportunity for all parties to unite for J&K’s prestige’
It is not known yet if the J&K authorities will allow the meeting of the Gupkar Declaration signatories to take place Thursday.
When ThePrint reached Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, P.K. Pole through phone calls and WhatsApp asking if the meeting will be allowed, he declined to comment.
The last time Farooq Abdullah had called for a meeting of Gupkar Declaration signatories was on the first anniversary of the revocation of Article 370. But J&K authorities had scuttled the meeting by not allowing Kashmiri politicians to move out of their residences.
However, political parties this time seem to be confident about the meeting taking place.
Senior PDP leader Naeem Akhtar, who was also detained after the government’s Article 370 move, told ThePrint the meeting was an opportunity for all political parties to leave their differences behind and stand united to fight for the prestige, dignity and lost rights of J&K.
Terming the meeting as ‘Gupkar Declaration II’, NC spokesperson Imran Dar said: “It has been already decided by Valley politicians that we will meet and discuss the future course of action after all political leaders are freed”.
‘Want immediate release of detainees’
Meanwhile, Mehbooba marked the first day of her release by meeting party workers who came to her residence.
PDP additional spokesperson Tahir Sayeed said: “Ms Mehbooba today did not engage in any political talk with party cadre. Today was just about exchanging pleasantries. The next couple of days she will consult party leaders and workers. This will be coupled with the meeting of Gupkar Declaration signatories.”
The former CM will be holding a press conference Friday, the party said.
The PDP had suffered a blow in the last one year not only due to detention of several leaders and workers and subsequent suspension of its political activities, but also due to defection of some of its leaders to the newly floated Apni Party, founded by former PDP leader Altaf Bukhari.
After her release, Mehbooba also released an audio on Twitter.
After being released from fourteen long months of illegal detention, a small message for my people. pic.twitter.com/gIfrf82Thw
— Mehbooba Mufti (@MehboobaMufti) October 13, 2020
“Everything the Delhi Darbar snatched away by unconstitutional and undemocratic means has to be got back, not only that but people of Jammu and Kashmir need to keep struggling for the solution of Jammu and Kashmir, which has led to sacrificing thousands of lives,” said Mehbooba in the audio.
“Today, when I am released, I want the immediate release of everyone from J&K who are languishing in various jails of the country,” she added.
The former CM said that the “path ahead” is not easy, but “courage and determination” will be a companion in that “path”.
“No one among us will forget the humiliation of the day Article 370 was scrapped. No one among us can ever forget the robbery and the insult,” added Mehbooba.
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