Farooq breaks silence, demands restoration of Kashmir’s special status
Party president all praises for BJP in joint statement
Srinagar: In a major development in Kashmir politics, National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah has finally broken his silence and demanded restoration of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.
In a joint statement on Friday, Farooq along with other NC Members of Parliament, Mohammad Akbar Lone, Hasnain Masoodi and other party leaders underscored the “need to restore special status of Jammu and Kashmir and the constitutional guarantees extended from time to time under binding covenants, unconstitutionally, arbitrarily and unilaterally taken away on 5th August 2019.”
“It is stated that revocation of 5th August 2019 decisions and unconditional dialogue with all the stakeholders is pivotal to the lasting peace and prosperity in the region. We demand immediate annulment of all the 5th August 2019 decisions and restoration of the 4th August 2019 constitutional position of Jammu and Kashmir,” read the statement.
This is the for the first since Farooq was released from his detention in March this year that the NC patron has spoken clearly about Article 370 and demanded its restoration in unequivocal terms.
It welcomed the “apparent shift in the BJP’s stand from belligerence to amity and peace, discernible from the recent statements of Rajnath Singh and Nitin Gadkari”.
The party welcomed the statement of Union Minister Gadkari that “India is not interested in expansion in land either from Pakistan or China” and that “India only wanted peace and amity”.
“We welcome the bold admission made by the leader of Mr Gadkari’s stature that while he and his colleagues want to make India strong but the strength does not come from expansion and that they want peace not violence and to work together,” the statement read.
The statement also noted “with satisfaction” the change from a hostile and aggressive posture that would day in and day out “call for armed adventure across LoC, to a conciliatory posture advocated by Rajnath Singh, Defence Minister in his Jan Samvad address to party cadres”.
“It is stated that mere statements to create an atmosphere of “peace, love and amity” however are to have no meaning unless GOI respects the political aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” the NC leaders said.
The signatories to the statement expressed anguish over skirmishes on LoC and LAC and the consequent loss of life and property.
The civilian population in the border areas, it is pointed out, is under huge economic stress and the border skirmishes are to further compound its problems.
The statement also called for opening of all traditional routes including Kargil- Skardu, Jammu- Sialkot, Poonch – Rawalakot, to allow free movement of people across LoC and LAC and to promote people to people contact and strengthen inter-regional trade and cultural links.
Apart from the three NC MPs, the other signatories to the stattment included party leaders Mohammad Shafi Uri, Mian Altaf Ahmad, Shammi Oberoi, Qamar Ali Akhoon, Devender Singh Rana, Khalid Najeeb Suharwardy, and Javaid Rana.