Photo: KM/Umar Ganie

Srinagar: For the first time after the abrogation of Article 370 last year, the National Conference (NC) patron and incumbent parliamentarian, Farooq Abdullah on Thursday held a meeting with four of the party leaders who were also detained post the August 05, 2019 decision.

The NC chief said that future course will be decided only when all leaders are set up adding that he was in touch with the PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti on Gupkar declaration.

Sources said that four party leaders including NC’s General Secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar, provincial president Kashmir Nasir Aslam Wani, former minister Abdul Rahim Rather and senior leader Muhammad Shafi Uri reached the residence of Farooq Abdullah at around 5 pm.

Photo: KM/Umar Ganie

Farooq said that five more party leaders will be called on Friday, adding that the meetings with the party leaders will continue in the coming days.

Earlier on Wednesday, National Conference had said that party has taken cognizance of the stand taken by Government of J&K in High Court for detention of its senior party leaders and added party has called a meeting with such leaders on August 20 in order to expose the assertions of Government regarding their “illegal” confinement.

Soon after holding a meeting with the party leaders, Farooq told media persons that the meeting was aimed to see whether his colleagues can come out of their homes after one year and 15 days.

“The motive behind our meeting was to see if our people who have been locked in for 12 months could come out of their homes, as the government said they are not locked. I am grateful to see them free today and hope it’s not just one time,” he said.

Photo: KM/Umar Ganie

He said soon after the leaders will be released, the future course of action would be made public once the leaders will sit together and hold discussions. “Once all the leaders are set free, we will sit together and discuss the issues properly,” he said.

About the meeting over the Gupkar declaration, which was earlier disallowed by the government, Farooq said: “We will have the All Parties Meeting on the Gupkar declaration. We are not running away from that.”

About the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, the former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir said that the people here are facing miserable conditions, adding that the business is zero, tourism is zero. “There is suffering everywhere in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

Asked how long the people have to wait for the future course of action, Farooq said: “Kashmiris have waited from seventy years, so how does it matter if they will have to wait for five more years.”

He said that they are not going to remain silent on the issues that took place since August 5 2019.

“Let people come out. The day people are out, we will sit down and Farooq Abdullah will say what we are going to do,” he said.

Asked about the Shah Faesal’s parting ways from politics, he said if the consciousness of somebody is weak, Farooq Abdullah is not responsible for that.

“He has to answer his conscience and his God. I am not supposed to talk about him,” he said.

Replying to a query, the incumbent parliamentarian said that the National Conference “has never been proved wrong and will never be proven wrong.”

Asked about the role of MPs in parliament, Farooq said: “Did I get a chance to attend the sessions in the parliament. You will see my role when I reach the parliament.”

Replying to a query about the PDP chief, Abdullah said, “I am in constant touch with Mehbooba Mufti. I am concerned about her prolonged detention. We do want to see her and other leaders of Jammu and Kashmir free.” (KNO)

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