Centre’s decision on Aug 05 last year violated spirit of federalism, sovereign pledges to J&K: NC
Political affairs committee asks party prez to widen acceptance of ‘Gupkar Declaration’
Srinagar: The measures undertaken by the Centre on August 05 last year have violated the spirit of federalism and the sovereign pledges of the Union of India to the people of Jammu and Kashmir, said the political affairs committee (PAC) of the National Conference on Saturday.
Presided by NC president and Member Parliament (MP) Srinagar Farooq Abdullah, the top decision-making body of the party met on Saturday for the first time after the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status in August last year. The meeting was held at party headquarters ‘Nawa-e-Subha’.
NC vice-president Omar Abdullah, general secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar and two other MPs Mohammad Akbar Lone and Hasnain Masoodi were among the senior leaders of the party present at the meeting. Other who participated include Dr. Sheikh Mustafa Kamal, Mohammad Shafi Uri, A R Rather, Mian Altaf, Chowdhary Mohammad Ramzan, Nasir Aslam Wani, Mubarak Gul, Aga Syed Ruhullah Mehdi, Sakina Itoo, Mir Saifullah, Shameema Firdous, Nazir Gurezi, Shammi Oberoi while the party functionaries from Jammu including Devender Singh Rana, S S Salathia, Javed Rana, Khalid Najeeb Suharwardy, Sajjad Kithcloo participated in the meeting via a video link. From Kargil Qamar Ali Akhoon and Haji Haneefa Jan also participated in the meeting, a party press release said.
“The PAC members expressed outrage over the decision taken on August 05 last year, saying the measures have violated the spirit of federalism and the sovereign pledges of Union of India to the people of Jammu and Kashmir made from time to time,” the party said in a statement after the meeting.
It said the members appreciated the peace-loving people of J&K for their peaceful response to “unwholesome decisions” taken by the Government of India.
“The PAC members vowed to stand behind the party president in his efforts to bring all political parties and other civil society groups on one platform to pitch for the restoration of what was unconstitutionally snatched from the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” the statement said.
The National Conference said the “unilateral, undemocratic and unconstitutional” measures undertaken by the Centre and its impact in Jammu and Kashmir on the ground level was deliberated in the PAC meeting.
On the occasion, the PAC members authorised the party president to widen the acceptance of ‘Gupkar Declaration’ among all sections in Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh, the statement said.
‘Gupkar Declaration’ is a resolution issued after an all-party meeting on August 04, 2019, at the Gupkar residence of the NC president, a day before the Centre announced its decision to revoke J&K’s special status and split it into two union territories.
Last week (August 22, 2020) prominent mainstream political parties in Kashmir Valley came together again at the Gupkar residence of Farooq Abdullah for the restoration of Article 370 and statehood.
In a resolution, which was termed as Gupkar Declaration 2.0, NC, PDP, J&K Congress, Peoples Conference, CPI (M) and ANC reiterated that “we are bound, wholly, by the contents of the Gupkar Declaration and will unwaveringly adhere to it. We are committed to strive for the restoration of Articles 370 and 35-A, the Constitution of J&K and the restoration of the State and any division of the State is unacceptable to us. We unanimously reiterate that there can be ‘nothing about us without us’.”
The participants at the NC’s PAC meeting applauded Farooq Abdullah’s efforts to bring different political voices on a single platform for the restoration of Jammu and Kashmir’s honour, “which was undemocratically, unilaterally and unethically rescinded” on the August 05 last year, the statement said.
The PAC members also took strong exception to the succeeding measures undertaken by the Centre following the “annihilation” of Articles 370 and 35-A, the party statement reads.
According to it, Farooq Abdullah took a stock of the party’s activities in different districts, including Kargil, Chenab, and Pir Panchal regions.
The PAC members also rued the widespread “administrative inertia and development deficit” in the Union Territory and expressed concern over the state of the economy in Jammu and Kashmir, the statement said.
They also expressed dismay over the plight of people associated with agriculture, horticulture, tourism, large and small businesses, medium and small scale industries and handicraft sector, it added.