J&K parties issue united call to safeguard state's autonomy
Amid turmoil and uncertainty in Jammu and Kashmir, all parties in the state on Sunday decided to remain together and stand united in their struggle for safeguarding the state's "identity, autonomy and special status".
The all-party meeting, presided by National Conference Chairman Farooq Abdullah at his Gupkar residence in presence of PDP chief and former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, decided that "modification and abrogation of Articles 35A and 370, unconstitutional delimitation or trifurcation of the state would be an aggression against the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh" and they will unitedly fight against it.
Leaders from the Peoples Democratic Party, the National Conference, the Congress, and the Peoples' Movement led by Shah Faesal were present in the all-party meet.
The meeting comes amid prevailing political situation triggered by massive deployment of security forces, abandonment of the Amarnath Yatra midway, and forced removal of tourists and others from the Valley. The call also comes amid concerns the increased security is part of the Centre's plan to deal with the fallout of withdrawing the state's special status.
"It was unanimously resolved that all the parties would be united in their resolve to be protect and defend identity, autonomy and special status of Jammu and Kashmir against all attacks and onslaughts whatsoever," Abdullah said reading out a resolution.
The parties, he said, also resolved to seek audience with the President and Prime Minister and the leaders of other political parties to apprise them of the current situation and make an appeal to them to safeguard the legitimate interests of the people of state with regard to the guarantees given to the state in the Constitution of the country.
"We will also apprise them of the unwholesome consequences bound to follow the unconstitutional violation of these guarantees," Abdullah said.
The PDP chief earlier claimed that police did not allow the meeting to be held at a local hotel.
Mehbooba Mufti had then also tweeted, alleging panic and distress had been "willingly" created by the evacuations of Amaranth yatris and tourists, even as Kashmiris were being given neither relief nor security.
While Article 370 confers special status on the state, Article 35A allows the Jammu and Kashmir legislature to define permanent residents of the state. It also grants residents of special rights and privileges, such as the right to own property in the state.
The representatives of other political parties participated in the meeting include Muzaffar Hussain Beg, Abdul Rehman Veeri, Sajad Ghani Lone, Imran Reza Ansari, Abdul Ghani Vakeel, Taj Mohiudin, M.Y. Tarigami, Omar Abdullah, Justice (retd) Hassnain Masoodi, Mohamad Akbar Lone, Nasir Sogami, Ali Mohammad Sagar, Muzaffar Shah, Uzair Ronga and Suhail Bukhari. IANS