SRINAGAR: In its first joint statement since the June 24 meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi, the Gupkar Alliance Monday asserted that Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir should be held only after restoration of statehood. The six-party alliance expressed disappointment at the outcome of the All-Party Meeting (APM) chaired by the PM saying “whatever little hope we had was not fulfilled and no assurance was given and no CBMs (confidence building measures) announced”.
“All the PAGD (Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration) members expressed their disappointment at the outcome of Delhi meeting, especially at the absence of any substantial CBMs like release of prisoners and taking concrete steps to end the siege and atmosphere of suppression that has choked J&K since 2019,” Alliance spokesman and CPM leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami said in a statement.
The Alliance leaders met at chairman Farooq Abdullah’s residence at Srinagar on Sunday evening to deliberate on the APM. “No assurance was given. No message was received by the people on CBMs,” Tarigami said, adding that “the Centre should respond to our suggestions and take some CBMs to restore trust and faith”.
On restoration of statehood, he said both PM Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah had promised to do so within and outside Parliament. “Why they have not fulfilled the promise so far is our concern,” he said.
Tarigami said the PAGD does not want Delhi-type statehood but restoration of the pre-August 2019 status. Assembly election must be held only after restoration of full statehood to J&K. “To make the election process credible, the Centre should restore statehood to J&K,” he added.
Asked whether the Gupkar Alliance would meet the Delimitation Commission which will begin its four-day visit on Tuesday, Tarigami said political parties that are part of the Gupkar Alliance will take their own decision on this.