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Will tirelessly fight to restore Article 370, says J&K parties, Congress & CPM joint statement

In a statement, NC, PDP, Congress, CPI(M), among others, said they’re ‘wholly bound’ by the Gupkar Declaration, which was issued last August before Modi govt’s Article 370 move.

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Srinagar: In a major development in Jammu and Kashmir politics, four main regional parties and two national parties — the Congress and CPI(M) — Saturday issued a joint statement, saying they would “tirelessly struggle to get back the special status and restore the Constitutional guarantees forcibly taken away from J&K”.

The six political parties, including the National Conference (NC), People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Peoples Conference, Awami National Conference, said they stood by the Gupkar Declaration, which was issued last August.

The parties stated that all political activities in the region will now be subservient to the “sacred goal of reverting to the special status of J&K as it existed on 4th August 2019”.

A source told ThePrint that the decision was a result of a series of consultations and meetings that have taken place over the last month. 

The last meeting, the source said, took place at the residence of NC MP Justice (retd) Hasnain Masoodi Thursday, where it was decided that the Gupkar Declaration will be the cornerstone of J&K’s future politics.

A day before the Modi government scrapped Article 370 on 5 August last year, all major political parties had met at former J&K CM 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’.

Masoodi, however, denied that the meeting took place at his residence and said Saturday’s decision was a result of a series of meetings and discussions that have happened after regional political leaders were freed from detention they were subjected to since last August.

Among the signatories of the joint statement were NC president and Srinagar MP Farooq Abdullah, former J&K CM and president of Peoples Democratic Party Mehbooba Mufti — who is still under detention — J&K Congress chief G.A.Mir, CPI(M) leader M.Y. Tarigami, Peoples Conference Chief Sajad Gani Lone and head of Awami National Conference Muzaffar Shah.

All of them were also among the signatories of the Gupkar Declaration.

The joint statement, which has made the return of J&K’s special status a primary demand, gains further significance given that the central government and the BJP were hoping that the regional parties would move past the issue of Article 370 and resume normal political activities, something which the party’s general secretary Ram Madhav had said earlier.


Also read: Why Abdullahs, Mehbooba are silent on Article 370 and what it means for Kashmir politics


‘Appeal for unstinted support to our just cause’

The joint statement stated that the signatories to the Gupkar Declaration “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,” read the statement, which also indicated the formation of an umbrella grouping against the Centre’s Article 370 move.

“The series of measures undertaken on 5 August 2019 were grossly unconstitutional and in reality measures of disempowerment and a challenge to the basic identity of the people of J&K. 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 said.

“These are testing times and times of pain for the peace loving people of J&K. 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 among 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.”

The signatories also expressed gratitude to “the people of India, the political parties, the intelligentsia and other civil society groups” for opposing the “unconstitutional measures of 5 August 2019 and ever since standing with the people of J&K in this crisis”.

“We appeal for their unstinted support to our just cause till the unconstitutional measures of 5 August 2019 are undone and the special status of J&K restored,” the signatories stated.

‘There can be nothing about us without us’

The statement further read: “We exhort leadership of the subcontinent to take due notice of the ever increasing skirmishes at the LAC and LoC resulting in casualties on both sides and unabated violent incidents in J&K and work for enduring peace in the region.

“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,” concluded the statement by the six political parties.


Also read: Not given up Article 370 fight but illogical to ask Modi govt to restore it — Omar Abdullah


 

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16 COMMENTS

  1. Opposition party is not meant to oppose “everything” which ruling party does. Currently it is the case in India. Oppose each and every thing which government does, is what opposition does in India, without giving it a logical thought.

  2. Those trying for restoring Article 370 should be treated as anti Indian & legal action should be taken against them

  3. प्रिंट मीडिया भी anti national और anti common people के against काम कर रहा है

  4. Congress party man😒
    Seriously, why?
    They are actually the worst thing in the country’s politics. Horrible party, can’t even imagine bjp vacating power for these losers anymore.

  5. Is the restoration of Article 370 going to be on the manifesto of the Congress in 2024 elections?

  6. I don’t know what the Congress is trying….oppose 370 abrogation…why?

    Congress should not act like CPM or BJP.

  7. If congress were to give up 370 raga it could win next poll and form government on its own. But deadwood as in Gulam Nahi Azad won’t let it happen and Gandhi cannot risk removing deadwood.

  8. This is exactly why the Indian public is confused….the stand of the “National Parties” contradicts their stand in Parliament. Political parties must show intent and sincerity of purpose (and not repeatedly beat the dead horses such as Article 370, “secularism” etc. to stay relevant.
    We Indians definitely want a strong and purposeful opposition, which will find support. Sincerely hope we can have such an opposition in the Parliament and not just ventilating opposition against one person and non issues.

  9. These parties all ruled in Kashmir ever since the implementation of Art. 370. All that Art. 370 brought was alienation and even radicalisation . If they were always confident about Art. 370, how come they never bring in the golden era of progress for Kashmiris? Even Kashmiris are now fed up with the drama and tantrums of these family run factories ! And the beautiful hypocrisy of the Congress through all of this is just a hilarious piece of comedy !

  10. These parties have secessionist and separatist ideologies.

    In name of special status Kashmiri maskins used JK constitution to systematically destroy democracy, institutions, society and secularism.

    In addition for past 70 years they denied migrants of west Pakistan citizenship and right to vote.

    These maskins through constitutional means made sure valmiki community be treated inhumanly forever.

    These maskin killed plundered raped Kashmiri Hindus, the descendants of kashyap rishi, on whose name Kashmir is derived, and drove them out to be refugee in their own country.

    These maskins granted rohingyas citizenship thereby giving all benefits but denying the same to Kashmiri Hindus.

    These maskins implemented sharia in a secular country.

    These maskins have occupied kashyap mir but rest of the India is waking up to these nefarious designs and in due course of time kashyap mir will be reclaimed and restored.

  11. Grandiose nonsense.

    They have no “right” to special status – especially not when they do not offer even normal status to lakhs of Indian citizens in their state based on some feudal and racist policy of Kashmiri only.

    The kashmiris people themselves have no faith kn these parties and neither do the people in India. This is their death knell and this is their final gasp.

  12. I was very disappointed to read Dr Singh’s statement last year that abrogation of Article 370 was the right decision, but it ought to have been arrived at through a better process. A decision of such profound consequence to the future of the Kashmiri people obviously ought to have been taken in consultation with them. However, this was a solemn assurance made to them. After the promise of a referendum was buried, it no longer remained a “ temporary “ provision, any more than the 500 year old Babri Masjid was a “ disputed structure “. To use bureaucratese, the SC is now “ seized of the matter”.

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