Majid Kapra

Shah Feasal enters into pre-poll alliance with Er Rasheed

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Srinagar, Jun 18: JKPM + AIP = PUF.

No this is not a chemical, nor a mathematical equation, it is a new political ‘formulation’ which came to forth Tuesday when the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Movement headed by former bureaucrat Shah Faesal Tuesday entered into a pre-poll alliance in the state with the Awami Ittehad Party led by former MLA Sheikh Abdul Rasheed (Er Rasheed).

Faesal and Rasheed announced the pre-poll alliance at a crowded press conference here, naming the coalition as the Peoples United Front (PUF).

Former PDP leader Javed Mustafa Mir, who joined hands with Faesal earlier this year, said the two parties have decided to forge the pre-poll alliance owing to the prevailing situation and political uncertainty in the state.

"There are assaults on the special position of the state and there is a lack of credible political alternative. There is no political force that can give good governance and fill the political vacuum," Mir told reporters.

Mir has been appointed as the head of the three-member coordination committee of the PUF.

On the occasion, the new formation released a 45-point "common agenda for the alliance" aimed at pursuing and facilitating "the peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue in its historical context as per the will, aspirations and sacrifices of the people of erstwhile J&K state".

The agenda also aims at supporting all confidence-building measures between India and Pakistan to secure relief for the people on both sides of the Line of Control.

Addressing the regional aspirations, undoing the erosion of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, facilitating the return of Kashmiri Pandits and release of all political detainees are other main goals of the agenda of the new alliance.

Former MLA from Langate, Rasheed said the agenda of the two parties is that of hope and they will not let the people down.

“Right now, we feel really let down due to lack of credible leadership,” he said.

Rasheed unsuccessfully contested the recent Lok Sabha polls from Baramulla Lok Sabha constituency but put in a splendid show by finishing third getting more votes than PDP.

Faesal, who quit the government service in January this year, had extended support to Rasheed's candidature.

The 2010 UPSC examination topper had expressed willingness to contest the Lok Sabha polls at the time of resigning but later decided against it.

Several young and aspiring politicians including former JNU student leader Shehla Rashid have joined Faesal's JKPM since its formation this March.

The JKPM Chairman said the base of PUF was laid by those who know the values of sacrifices and struggles. He said the focus of the new alliance will be on good governance and development besides the challenges the state faces at present.

“It is not important to keep people engaged in ideas, vocabulary and idioms. What is important is that an initiative has been started by those who know the value of sacrifices and struggle. Only those can talk about sacrifices who themselves have rendered sacrifice in their life by leaving something behind,” he added.

He said the political assaults on the very existence of Jammu and Kashmir state will be answered politically and democratically. Shah Faesal also said that a Common Agenda of Alliance has been prepared in which political issues; political rights of people and good governance have been focused upon.

“Aim of forming PUF is to save what we have at present and to regain what has been snatched away from us and we have every right to get our rights back. 35A and delimitation these are political assaults. Our response to these issues will be in a democratic manner,” he said.

He hoped that people from all three regions will strengthen the initiative and make it successful.

On the occasion, Er Abdul Rashid assured people that the new alliance will work to fulfill aspiration and sentiments of the people of all three regions including Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.

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