The Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) has sought restoration of statehood for Jammu & Kashmir before assembly elections, expressing dissatisfaction with the meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi a few days ago.
The alliance also accused the Centre of failing to take any Confidence Building Measures such as releasing political prisoners and “taking concrete steps to end the siege & atmosphere of suppression that has choked J&K since 2019”.
In a statement, spokesperson MY Tarigami said the BJP made the commitment on the floor of Parliament regarding statehood for J&K and they must honour it. “Any assembly election must be held only after restoration of full statehood for J&K. To this end, the PAGD has decided to reach out to other political parties in J&K with a view to take a common position on the issue,” he said.
The PAGD’s stand on restoration of statehood comes ahead of the visit of the Delimitation Commission, whose main task is redrawing the boundaries of the various assembly and Lok Sabha constituencies, beginning July 7.
According to the J-K leaders, PM Modi in his meeting with them said that his government wanted statehood to be back in Jammu and Kashmir and elections to be held at the earliest. He also sought to address the concerns of the leaders regarding mistrust of the people in the Valley.
National Conference leader and former CM of the erstwhile state Omar Abdullah said that he told the PM that there is an atmosphere of mistrust between the Centre and the Valley. “The trust has been shattered,” Omar said.
Echoing similar sentiments, Mehbooba Mufti said, “Muskurake PM se kaha Kasmhir ke log bahut pareshan hai…Saans le to andar kar dete hai (I told the PM with a smile that people in Kashmir are worried. They are jailed at the drop of a hat).”