People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration to attend tomorrow’s meet

The People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration has said it would attend the meeting called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi later this week but reiterated its stand on restoration of special status and statehood for Jammu and Kashmir.

Led by National Conference president Farooq Abdullah, PAGD leaders met at his residence in Srinagar on Tuesday and after deliberations said they had received no agenda from the Centre for the upcoming meeting. PAGD wanted political prisoners released as part of the confidence-building measure ahead of the proposed meeting.

“We hope to put forth our point of view before the PM and HM. After the meeting, we will brief the media in Delhi and Kashmir on what we said and what their responses were,” Abdullah told journalists in Srinagar after Tuesday’s meeting. “PAGD’s stand is clear and there was no need to repeat it frequently. Our stand will remain same. Our position is known to all,” Abdullah said.

An amalgamation of political parties, including the PDP and NC, PAGD was formed last October to strive for restoration of statehood and special status of J&K. Sajad Lone’s People’s Conference parted ways with PAGD early this year and has been invited too for the meeting.

“We are going as advocates of the people of J&K and Ladakh in the meeting. We won’t ask for the moon but for what was ours and should remain ours,” CPM leader and PAGD spokesperson Muhammad Yousuf Tarigami said. PAGD leaders are not going to sign on Government of India’s agenda at the meeting. “We will listen to the suggestions of the PM and if they are not in favour of the people of J&K and Ladakh, we will not accept it,” Tarigami said. The former legislator from Kulgam of southern Kashmir said that PAGD would reiterate its stand in the meeting and demand the guarantees provided under Constitution.

PAGD vice-president Mehbooba Mufti of the PDP said that she was not against dialogue, but political prisoners and other detainees should have been released as part of the CBM. “If they wanted to reach out to people of J&K and to us who they have humiliated for last two years, some steps like these should have been taken,” Mufti said.


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