Gupkar Declaration: NC's Farooq Abdullah announces alliance with PDP, 4 other parties for ‘restoring J&K's special status'

Abdullah said the alliance also seeks a dialogue between all stakeholders for resolution of the issue pertaining to Jammu and Kashmir

FP Staff October 15, 2020 21:04:18 IST
Gupkar Declaration: NC's Farooq Abdullah announces alliance with PDP, 4 other parties for ‘restoring J&K's special status'

Members of six parties from Jammu and Kashmir who held a meeting on the Gupkar Declaration in Srinagar, talk to the media on 15 October. Twitter/@SaraHayatShah

National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah on Thursday announced an alliance with Peoples Democratic Party President Mehbooba Mufti, People’s Conference and other regional political parties following a meeting of six Jammu and Kashmir-based parties to discuss the Gupkar Declaration in Srinagar.

The mainstream political parties held a meeting and formed an alliance for the restoration of the special status of the erstwhile state as it existed before 5 August last year and also to initiate a dialogue between all stakeholders in the issue.

The meeting was held at the residence of Abdullah in Srinagar and attended by PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, Peoples Conference chairman Sajad Lone, Peoples Movement leader Javaid Mir and CPIM leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami.

Briefing reporters after the nearly two-hour meeting, Abdullah said the leaders decided to formalise the alliance, that has been named 'Peoples' Alliance for Gupkar Declaration'.

The National Conference president said the alliance will strive for the restoration of the constitutional position in respect of Jammu and Kashmir as it existed before 5 August last year.

"We shall struggle for the restoration of what was snatched from Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh. Ours is a constitutional battle ... we would strive for the restoration of the constitution (with regard to Jammu and Kashmir) as it existed on 5 August, 2019," he said.

Abdullah said the alliance also seeks a dialogue between all stakeholders for resolution of the issue pertaining to Jammu and Kashmir. "We will be informing you about the future course of action in due course," he added.

National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah and other senior leaders of the party were also present at the meeting.

JKPCC chief Ghulam Ahmad Mir could not attend the meeting "due to medical reasons"

A spokesperson of the party said Mir had conveyed his inability to attend the meeting to Farooq Abdullah as the Congress leader was advised by doctors to get himself medically examined including a COVID screening.

Abdullah said the meeting congratulated the PDP president on her release from 14 months of detention which they said was "completely illegal and unjustified".

On 4 August last year, all major political parties in Kashmir, except BJP, had met at the residence of Farooq Abdullah amidst uncertainty and tension in the erstwhile state as the Centre had rushed additional paramilitary forces there while asking all tourists including Amarnath pilgrims to leave the Valley as soon as possible.

This came a day before the Centre announced its decision of revocation of Jammu and Kashmir's special status and split it into two Union Territories.

The joint statement issued by the political parties then, expressing concern over the situation, came to be known as the Gupkar Declaration.

The declaration, in essence, is a common agreement to collectively fight against the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir.

It stated that the parties unanimously resolved to be united in their effort to protect and defend the identity, autonomy and special status of Jammu and Kashmir against all attacks and onslaughts.

The Centre revoked the special constitutional status of the state and also bifurcated it into two union territories – Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

In a follow-up, the political parties had met again in August this year and vowed to fight for the restoration of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.

With inputs from PTI

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