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PC chief questions NC’s ‘U-turn’ on participation in delimitation exercise

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“By choking and stifling the voices of the people, Administration is creating a pressure-cooker-like situation in Kashmir”

Anantnag: J&K Peoples Conference president Sajad Gani Lone Sunday asked the National Conference leadership to explain its “U-turn” on participation in the delimitation exercise.

Addressing a gathering of workers in Shangus Assembly segment during the party’s first public outreach program, Lone asked “if participating in the meeting was an endorsement of abrogation of the Article 370 in May, then how is it not an endorsement in December?”

Taking the argument further, Lone, according to a party press release, asked: “If something was wrong in May, how could it be right in December? Were they lying then or are they lying now. Or is it again part of an act scripted and directed in Delhi?”

He said the NC must come out clean and explain the reasons for change of heart.

“What has changed in Kashmir for them to now deem this exercise legitimate? We can’t afford duplicity after what happened on August 05!” he said.

Asserting that the issue of Article 370 is sacrosanct and its demand will never die, Lone said, “It is not subservient to our raising of the issue. The chapter of Article 370, contrary to what Delhi thinks, is not closed. We will speak truthfully to the people about the status of Article 370. Our stand on 370 is clear. We will fight for whatever has been snatched from the people of Jammu and Kashmir unconstitutionally.”

Accusing the “traditional parties” of being hand-in-glove with Delhi, Lone said that in lieu of “political space, these parties have irreversibly damaged the cause of the people of Kashmir.”

He also said that if Delhi has been consistent on anything, it has been its consistency for “disdain and condemn for the people of Kashmir”.

“We have not seen any let-up in the last so many decades in their attitude. Erosions started the moment Article 370 was enacted in the 1950’s and ended with its abrogation in 2019. Not a single year or a single month has passed since 1989 when the people of Kashmir have not been mercilessly killed or jailed. The people of Kashmir have been the victims of Delhi’s excesses for decades now irrespective of which party was in power. Let our memories not fail us,” he added.

Lashing out at the administration for “choking and stifling the voices of the people and creating a pressure-cooker-like situation in Kashmir”, Lone said that those at the helm are spreading poison for our future generations.

“Those at the helm are mere tourists and will have to return to their respective states in a few years. However, it is the people of Kashmir, our future generations, who will have to bear the consequences of their actions today.

“This administration is trying to show that they are living in a parallel universe of their own. They are creating a pressure situation by using brute force, threats and coercion. Let me tell the administration that such tactics are counterproductive and have a limited shelf-life. I sincerely hope they change course before the situation erupts,” he added.

During the programme, Lone was accompanied by senior party leaders Abdul Gani Vakil, Basharat Bukhari, Mansoor Hussain Soharvardy, Raja Aijaz Ali, Mohammad Abbas Wani, YPC president Sheikh Imran, Adnan Ashraf Mir, Irfan Mattoo, Mudasir Karim, Tasaduq Yaseen, Salman Bukhari, Mohammad Sulaiman Bhat and others, the party press release said.

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