Srinagar: Political parties in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday unanimously agreed to go by the ‘Gupkar Declaration’, saying all their “political activities will be subservient to the sacred goal of reverting to the status of J&K as it existed on 4 August 2019.”
More than a year after abrogation of Article 370 and downgrading of J&K State into two union territories, the National Conference (NC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Congress, the Peoples Conference, J&K Awami National Conference and the CPI (M) joined hands on Saturday to press together for the demand of restoring special status and statehood.
The Gupkar Declaration was originally signed and agreed to by these political parties a day before the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5 last year. The declaration affirmed their commitment to protect J&K’s special constitutional status and fight against any move aimed at diluting it.
In a statement, the six political parties said today that all political activities in the region will now be subservient to the “sacred goal of reverting to the special status of J&K as it existed on 4th August 2019”.
“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,” they said.
According to the joint statement, the series of measures undertaken on August 5, 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,” they said. “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.”
Expressing gratitude to the people of India, political parties, intelligentsia and other civil society groups for opposing the scrapping of Article 370, they appealed for unstinted support to their just cause. “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,” they said.
“We unanimously reiterate that there can be nothing about us without us,” they added.