Srinagar: National Conference (NC) patriarch and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister, Farooq Abdullah, called on fellow countrymen to rise against the sorry state of Gaza amid Israel’s raging offensive against terrorist group Hamas.
Addressing a press conference after chairing a meeting of the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration, on Friday, the NC stalwart also pointed to alleged concerns over the supply of water and electricity in the besieged Hamas-controlled territory.
“Look at the condition of hospitals, there are no medicines, there is no electricity, water. I feel people across the country should stand up against this (the situation in Gaza),” the NC patron said.
The meeting was held at Abdullah’s Srinagar residence on Friday.
NC Lok Sabha MP Hasnain Masoodi, former chief minister and People’s Democratic president Mehboob Mufti, and CPI(M) leader Yousuf Tarigami, among others, were present at the meeting.
After the Centre abrogated Article 370, thereby stripping the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir of its special status guaranteed by a constitutional provision, on August 5, 2019, all mainstream Opposition parties in the Valley, including the National Conference, PDP, Peoples Conference and the CPI(M), came together to form the PAGD.
The Gupkar alliance, as it came to be known, was formed through the joint initiative of Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti.
The alliance put forward the demand for the restoration of Article 370 and statehood to Jammu and Kashmir.
On October 19, the Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, Manoj Sinha, sought to weigh in on the perceived changing face of the Valley since the abrogation of Article 370, saying there’s been a “change in people’s thinking” in the Union Territory and they “want peace and tranquillity”.
He added that development could follow only after peace and tranquillity are restored to the Valley.
Earlier this month, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said the erstwhile state has attained new heights in development and growth after the abrogation of Article 370, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Centre defended its decision to abrogate Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir saying post the withdrawal of the special status, the street violence orchestrated by terrorists and separatist elements has become a thing of the past.
Since 2019, when Article 370 was abrogated, the entire region has witnessed an “unprecedented era of peace, progress and prosperity”, Centre said during a hearing in the Supreme Court earlier this year.
After the abrogation of Article 370, life in the erstwhile state has returned to normal after three decades of turmoil, the Centre stated further in an affidavit to the Supreme Court.
A number of petitions were filed in the top court, including those by private individuals, lawyers, activists politicians and political parties challenging the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, by virtue of which Jammu and Kashmir was split into two Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
The Centre stated further that schools, colleges and universities have been operating sans strikes during the last three years. (Agencies)