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PC will strive politically, legally for restoration of J&K’s special status: Sajad Lone

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Takes oath as PC president

Srinagar: People’s Conference president Sajad Gani Lone on Wednesday said his party will strive politically and legally for restoration of the special status to Jammu and Kashmir that was repealed by the Centre in 2019.

“Jammu and Kashmir had a legacy which was destroyed in 2019. We will strive to get that legacy back, be it politically or legally. And if there is any sacrifice to be made for it, it should come from the leadership and not the children of ordinary masses,” Lone said after taking oath as People’s Conference president for a four-year term.

The oath was administered by chairman Election Authority of the party Basharat Bukhari. The oath ceremony was attended by top leadership of the party along with thousands of delegates comprising the general council, said a statement issued by the party.

Speaking to the gathering after taking oath, Lone described the current times as distinctively painful and politically unique in terms of the challenges that it poses to the different sections of leadership in J&K.

He said that leadership has different definitions at different times and in present times leadership would entail saving people, leadership would mean preserving our youth and leadership demands speaking the truth to the people.

Lone said that one of the easiest things in politics is to resort to lies and innuendo. “And the most difficult thing is to speak the truth in the face of adversity. We in the People’s Conference will strive to ensure that we speak the truth and lead with honesty and courage,” he said, as per the statement.

“It’s time that the leadership variables are reset. Let leaders lead with the courage to speak truth, and let people of J&K follow those who speak the truth. Safeguarding the interests of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, especially the youth, is the biggest leadership challenge in current times and that the People’s Conference will do everything in its power to protect a common Kashmiri from being victimized,” he added.

Lone further asserted that Peoples Conference is the party that has the legacy of sacrifice and will continue to strive to accord people a dignified way of living.

“We will make every effort to promote political inclusiveness and tirelessly strive to restore and retrieve the glorious political legacy that the people of J&K deserve. A unique legacy which we all cherished and zealously guarded for so long; we will do what it takes to ensure that legacy is restored”, he added.

Lone, who was elected president of the party unopposed earlier this month, also hit out at the oldest regional party, National Conference (NC), saying they cannot claim to lead the people when they were responsible for the mess people are in.

“One who does not talk about the 1987 elections, the rigging that happened in those elections, he will never understand the Kashmir issue. If 1987 had not happened, would the gun infiltrate here? Would there be so many new graveyards? Who filled those graveyards? No one is asking this question,” Lone said, blaming the NC for rigging the Assembly elections which is believed to have led to the eruption of militancy.

Lone said everyone in Kashmir was being questioned and put in jail “even for acts like giving food to terrorists” in 1990.

“Everyone is being questioned and rounded up. People are put in jail for giving food to a militant in 1990 but no one is questioning the thief of 1987,” he added.

The People’s Conference president said while NC president Farooq Abdullah made a chief minister out of his son Omar Abdullah, JKLF chief Yasin Malik was slapped with nine cases and put behind bars for becoming election agent of opposition candidate in 1987.

“Farooq Abdullah became the leader and he made his son a chief minister. Yasin Malik was slapped with nine cases and sent to jail for becoming an election agent of an opposition candidate. And he is still in jail. Malik took to arms, we do not support that, but is anyone asking why he took up a gun? Who put him on that path?” he asked.

“Today we have to fight but I would wish the same for the children of all people what I wish for my two children. The leadership has a role today – to save the future generation from the bullets and the jail,” he added.

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