SRINAGAR: The Gupkar alliance leaders, who met to discuss the deliberations at the June 24 all-party meeting convened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi, have expressed disappointment at the outcome. They also want Assembly elections to be held only after restoration of statehood.
The Gupkar leaders met at NC president Farooq Abdullah’s residence at Gupkar, Srinagar, on Sunday evening. The meeting was attended by vice-chairperson Mehbooba Mufti, Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami, Justice (retd) Hasnain Masoodi, Javed Mustafa Mir and Muzaffar Ahmed Shah.
The meeting was convened to discuss the recent all-party meeting chaired by the PM in Delhi on 24th June. At least 14 J&K leaders including four from the Gupkar alliance attended the meeting, which was the Centre’s first political outreach to J&K leaders after the scrapping of Article 370 and bifurcation of J&K state on August 5, 2019.
“All members of PAGD expressed their disappointment at the outcome of the Delhi meeting especially at the absence of any substantial Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) including release of prisoners and taking concrete steps to end the siege and atmosphere of suppression that has choked J&K since 2019,” a statement issued by the alliance said.
It stated that the CBMs would have initiated the much needed process of reaching out to the people of J&K who are the biggest stakeholders and sufferers.
Referring to restoration of statehood, the Gupkar alliance said it has been the BJP’s commitment on the floor of parliament and they must honour their word.
“So any assembly election must be held only after restoration of full statehood for J&K. To this end, the PAGD has decided to reach out to other political parties in J&K with a view to take a common position on the issue,” the statement stated.
The Gupkar alliance, which was formed by seven parties (one of which has quit the alliance), in October 2020 to fight for restoration of Articles 370 and 35A, reiterated its commitment to fight together to reverse “unconstitutional and unacceptable changes” foisted on J&K people on August 5, 2019 using all constitutional, legal and political means at its disposal.
“PAGD's struggle for undoing these changes will continue for as long as it takes while striving to achieve this objective as early as possible,” added the statement.