‘The measures attempt to redefine who we are’
‘Reiterate our commitment to collectively fight to restore Special Status of J&K’
Srinagar: In a joint Statement on August 22, 2020, the signatories of the Gupkar Declaration have said that the unfortunate events of August 5, 2019 have ‘unrecognizably changed the relationship between J&K and New Delhi’.
The signatories which include Farooq Abdullah of JKNC, Mehbooba Mufti of JKPDP, GA Mir of Congress, M Y Tarigami of CPI (M), Sajad Gani Lone of JKPC, Muzaffar Shah of JKANC, have barely managed to establish basic level of communication with each other “in the face of a series of prohibitive and punitive curbs imposed by the government, aimed at impeding all social and political interactions”.
The limited confabulations held within the constraints imposed have resulted in this unanimous resolution.
The unfortunate events of 5th August 2019 have unrecognizably changed the relationship between J&K and New Delhi. In a spitefully shortsighted and unconstitutional move, Articles 370 and 35A were abrogated and the State was bifurcated and relegated to the status of two Union Territories and its Constitution tried to be made unenforceable.
The series of measures undertaken on 5th August 2019 were grossly unconstitutional and in reality measures of disempowerment and a challenge to the basic identity of the people of J&K. The measures attempt to redefine who we are. These changes were accompanied by repressive measures meant to silence people and coerce them into submission, and continue unabated.
These are testing times and times of pain for the peace loving people of J&K.
We all reiterate our commitment to collectively fight to restore the Special Status of J&K as guaranteed under the Constitution and the commitments made from time to time.
There is unanimity amongst us that collective institution is the effective way to fight for these rights and tirelessly struggle to get back the special status and restore the Constitutional guarantees forcibly taken away, against our will.
We want to assure the people that all our political activities will be subservient to the sacred goal of reverting to the status of J&K as it existed on 4th August 2019.
While expressing gratitude to the people of India, the political parties, the intelligentsia and other civil society groups for opposing the unconstitutional measures of 5th August 2019 and ever since standing with the people of J&K in this crises, we appeal for their unstinted support to our just cause till the unconstitutional measures of 5th August 2019 are undone and the special status of J&K restored.
We exhort leadership of the subcontinent to take due notice of the ever increasing skirmishes at the LAC and LOC resulting in casualties on both sides and unabated violent incidents in J&K and work for enduring peace in the region.
We all reiterate that we are bound, wholly, by the contents of the GUPKAR DECLARATION and will unwaveringly adhere to it. We are committed to strive for the restoration of Articles 370 and 35A, the Constitution of J&K and the restoration of the State and any division of the State is unacceptable to us. We unanimously reiterate that there can be “nothing about us without us”.
On August 20, for the first time after the abrogation of Article 370 last year, National Conference (NC) patron and incumbent parliamentarian, Farooq Abdullah held a meeting with four of the party leaders who were also detained post the August 05, 2019 decision.
On August 5, 2020, Authorities clamped down on a crucial meeting of political leaders at incumbent parliamentarian Farooq Abdullah’s Gupkar residence in Srinagar. No political leader was allowed to reach Abdullah’s house.
The Parliament of India had in August 2019, adopted a resolution to abrogate Article 370, and passed a Bill to bifurcate the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh, controlled directly by the Government of India.
Article 370 granted Jammu and Kashmir autonomy, and its scrapping was done as all Kashmiri political representatives were kept under detention, communication in Kashmir was blacked out, and thousands were imprisoned.
The removal of Article 370 has made concrete the fears of demographic change in the Muslim majority region of Kashmir, as laws regarding land ownership and citizenship have been changed by the Government of India controlled administration.
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