The key political leaders of Jammu and Kashmir -- including National Conference patriarch Farooq Abdullah, his arch-rival Mehbooba Mufti of the People's Democratic Party and Sajjad Lone -- came together this evening to fight for the restoration of Article 370 and resolution of Kashmir. The freshly minted "People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration" comes more than a year after the Centre ended the special status of Jammu and Kashmir granted under the constitution and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories.
Most of the political leaders in Kashmir Valley have been in custody for long -- it was part of the preventive measures against backlash taken by the Centre last August, a day before making the huge announcement in parliament.
Mr Abdullah, 82, was released in March, days before the countrywide lockdown was announced. Mehbooba Mufti was released on Tuesday.
"Our battle is a constitutional battle, we want the Government of India to return to the people of the state the rights they held before 5th August 2019," Mr Abdullah said. "We shall struggle for restoration of what was snatched from Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh," he added.
Mr Abdullah also said the alliance seeks a dialogue between all stakeholders for resolution of Kashmir.
The National Conference chief had convened the meeting at his home to chalk out the future course of action on "Gupkar Declaration" with regard to the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
The Gupkar Declaration was signed on August 4, 2019, after an all-party meeting at the Gupkar Road residence Mr Abdullah. It marked a resolution of attending regional parties and the Congress to protect Jammu and Kashmir's special constitutional status and fight against any move to dilute it.
Two days later, the Centre ended the special status of the state granted under the Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcated it into two Union Territories.
This August, the political parties had met again, and vowed to fight for restoration of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.