Ahead of Prime Minister’s J&K meet, leaders of PAGD reiterate Gupkar Declaration

Political leaders from Jammu and Kashmir flew to Delhi on Wednesday for the meeting with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi the next day. National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah will, however, arrive in the capital on Thursday morning.

The leaders have reiterated their commitment to the Gupkar Declaration, signed on August 4, 2019, and aimed at striving for restoration of statehood and special status of J&K. The People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), a grouping of regional political parties formed in October 2020, to express commitment for Gupkar Declaration, is led by Abdullah, with the People’s Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti as its vice president.

The proposed meeting with the PM has triggered sudden political activity in the pro-election camp in J&K, after almost 34 months of hiatus, during which most of these politicians along with more than 75,000 persons including Hurriyat leaders, lawyers, traders, activists and civilians were detained.

“Dialogue process will go towards positive direction and there is no need to be hopeless about it… Dr Farooq Abdullah will talk about the interests of the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh,” Devender Singh Rana, former legislator and provincial president of National Conference from Jammu, told media persons in Srinagar. He said every meeting is not about elections and that J&K is at the crossroads of history.

“Dialogue is the only way forward. There is no reason to sabotage the dialogue. Dr sahib is the best person to represent the aspirations of the people of J&K and Ladakh, and all three regions would be represented equitably,” said Rana.

He said everybody in the region wants statehood and protection of land and jobs. “Who doesn’t want statehood? We are a broken Union Territory as of now… this is the state carved out by the Dogra rulers and Dogras (of Jammu) will never want this state to be divided,” he said.

This inclusive dialogue process has been initiated by the Prime Minister of India and everybody is hopeful about its outcome, said Rana. The Centre has invited 14 leaders from J&K for the meeting with the PM on Thursday.

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