National Conference (NC) president Dr. Farooq Abdullah on Thursday, chairing a meeting of around six regional political parties, announced a new grouping named ‘Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration’, comprising all the parties that signed the Gupkar Declaration on August 4 last year “to fight for J&K’s special status”.
“Our motive is to fight for the restoration of the August 04, 2019, position. It’s a constitutional battle to assure the return of all the rights which the people of J&K, including Ladakh, enjoyed before the abrogation of Article 370”, three-time Chief Minister Dr. Abdullah said after the meeting.
Among others, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti, Peoples Conference (PC) chief Sajad Lone and CPI(M) leader M.Y. Tarigami, were part of the meeting held at the residence of Dr. Abdullah at Gupkar Road in Srinagar in the afternoon.
Dr. Abdullah, who is a Member Parliament, pointed at the larger lingering political problem and underlined the need to address it. “We want steps taken for the resolution of the Kashmir issue. All the stakeholders should be taken on board in this regard,” he said.
In a shift, the alliance of these regional forces, which also include the Awani National Conference, the J&K Peoples Movement, the Awami Ittehad Party and the Peoples Democratic Front, has not restricted its goal of restoration of J&K’s special status but also included the final settlement of the Kashmir issue in its agenda.
Dr. Abdullah also hinted at taking into confidence members from all the regions of the erstwhile J&K State, including Ladakh, in the next meeting. “The next meeting will be held soon”, he stated.
Congress leader G.A Mir did not attend the meeting citing “medical emergency”.
Mehbooba visits father’s grave
Ms. Mufti, released after 14 months, on Thursday visited the grave of her father Mufti Muhammad Sayeed in Anantnag district and offered prayers.
Several leaders accompanied her as she drove to south Kashmir’s Bijbehara town, where the late Mufti is buried.