Addressing the media after the meeting of the Gupkar Declaration signatories on Thursday, NC president Farooq Abdullah affirmed that the Centre must restore the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. The Gupkar Declaration was a resolution passed by NC, PDP, Congress, CPI(M), JKPC and ANC on August 4, 2019, pledging to protect the "identity, autonomy and special status" of J&K. Flanked by PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti and his son Omar, Abdullah announced the alliance's name has been changed to 'People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration'.
He demanded the immediate release of all political detainees from J&K. Refusing to refer to J&K as a Union Territory, the former CM called for a peaceful dialogue with all stakeholders at the earliest. He added that the alliance would talk to people from all regions very soon. On this occasion, all original Gupkar Declaration signatories barring for J&K Congress chief GA Mir were in attendance at Farooq Abdullah's residence in Srinagar.
NC president Farooq Abdullah remarked, "We today met to congratulate and greet Mehbooba ji who has been released from detention after 14 long months. It was a totally illegal, unjustified and unconstitutional detention. We have demanded that people who are still in prison must be released immediately without any further delay. The formal name of this alliance will be the 'People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration'. Our battle is a Constitutional battle. We want the government of India to return to the people of this state the rights they held before August 5, 2019."
"Also, at the same time, we feel that the political issue of the state has to be resolved as quickly as possible. And that can only be resolved by dialogue with peaceful means with all the stakeholders who are involved in Jammu and Kashmir. Further, we will meet again very soon. We are also going to meet people from the other regions of the state so that we can have a broader discussion on the issues that we are putting forward before the people of the state and the government of India," he elaborated.
#WATCH Jammu & Kashmir: All-party meeting underway at National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah's residence in Srinagar.— ANI (@ANI) October 15, 2020
National Conference Vice President Omar Abdullah and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti also present. pic.twitter.com/5BVyvIGL9s
In August 2019, a presidential notification along with the passage of requisite legislation in both Houses of Parliament resulted in Article 370 becoming virtually redundant. Furthermore, the state was bifurcated into the Union Territory of J&K and Union Territory of Ladakh. Subsequently, several restrictions on the movement of people, communication, and internet services were imposed in the region.
Multiple leaders including former Chief Ministers Farooq and Omar Abdullah and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti were detained. While the Public Safety Act charges against the Abdullah father-son duo were withdrawn in March 2020, Mufti continued to remain under detention at her residence in Srinagar. On Tuesday, the PDP supremo was formally released by the J&K administration.