Kashmir: Abdullah, Mufti to fight for Article 370 together

Mainstream political parties in Jammu and Kashmir forged an alliance to fight for the restoration of the special status of the erstwhile state as it existed before August 5 last year.

In a meeting held at the residence of National Conference president Farooq Abdullah, PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, who was released recently after 14 months in preventive detention, Peoples Conference chairman Sajad Lone, Peoples Movement leader Javaid Mir and CPI(M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami decided to formalise the alliance, that has been named ‘Peoples’ Alliance for Gupkar Declaration’.

The National Conference president said, “We shall struggle for restoration of what was snatched from Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh. Ours is a constitutional battle ... we would strive for restoration of the constitution (with regard to J&K) as it existed on August 5, 2019.”

National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah and other senior leaders of the party were also present at the meeting. JKPCC chief Ghulam Ahmad Mir could not attend the meeting “due to medical reasons”

On August 4 last year, all major political parties in Kashmir, except BJP, had met at the residence of Farooq Abdullah in Gupkar amidst uncertainty and tension in the erstwhile state as the Centre had rushed additional paramilitary forces there while asking all tourists including Amarnath pilgrims to leave the Valley as soon as possible. Their joint statement expressing concern over the situation came to be known as the Gupkar Declaration. In a follow up, the political parties had met again in August this year and vowed to continue the fight.

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