In a significant development, the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration today sought restoration of the statehood ahead of the polls in Jammu and Kashmir.
Away from the media glare, the PAGD leaders met on Sunday evening under the chairmanship of Dr Farooq Abdullah in Srinagar. The meeting was attended by the vice-chairperson of the PAGD Mehbooba Mufti, spokesman of the PAGD MY Tarigami, NC leader Justice(retd) Hasnain Masoodi, and others. The meeting was called to discuss the All-Parties Meeting convened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 24.
“The PAGD reiterated its commitment to fight together to reverse the unconstitutional and unacceptable changes foisted on the people of J&K on 5th August 2019 using all constitutional, legal, and political means at its disposal. PAGD's struggle for undoing these changes will continue as long as it takes while striving to achieve this objective as early as possible,” reads a statement of the PAGD.
“All the members of the PAGD expressed their disappointment at the outcome of the Delhi meeting especially at the absence of any substantial Confidence Building Measures such as releasing political and other prisoners from jails and taking concrete steps to end the siege and atmosphere of suppression that has choked J&K since 2019,” the PAGD statement added.
"This would have initiated the much-needed process of reaching out to the people of J&K who are the biggest stakeholders and sufferers of the J&K problem. As far as the restoration of statehood is concerned, it has been BJPs commitment on the floor of the Parliament, and they must honor their word. So, any assembly election must be held only after the restoration of full statehood for J&K. To this end the PAGD has decided to reach out to other political parties in J&K to take a common position on the issue," the statement reads.
The PAGD is an amalgam of six different political parties including the National Conference, People’s Democratic Party. On August 4, 2019, the PAGD was formed to fight for the restoration of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir. And a day later on August 5, 2019, the BJP government abrogated Article 370 and arrested thousands of people including the PAGD leaders. On June 24, 2021, the Prime Minister held a long meet with 14 leaders from J&K including the four PAGD leaders.