THE POLITICAL PUSHBACK
India Today|September 07, 2020
THE POLITICAL PUSHBACK
The Valley has finally broken its silence. A year after the abrogation of Article 370, the crackdown on mainstream political parties (including the arrest of three ex-chief ministers) and the clampdown on all political activity in Kashmir, six of these parties reaffirmed, on August 22, their commitment to the ‘Gupkar Declaration’ of August 4, 2019.
Moazum Mohammad

The Declaration had been signed just a day ahead of the annulment of J&K’s special status, when these parties had come together and vowed to resist the anticipated political downgrade of the erstwhile state. The signatories included the National Conference (NC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Congress, People’s Conference, the CPI(M) and the Awami National Conference, and the joint announcement said that all political activity hereon would be “subservient to the sacred goal of reverting the status of J&K as it existed on August 4, 2019”.

Days before the August 5 events of last year, there had been massive troop mobilisation and a series of government advisories and orders, including cancellation of the annual Amarnath yatra midway, and the eviction of tourists from J&K. It had triggered much anxiety among the people, rumours spread thick and fast, forcing the huddle of parties on August 4. The meeting was held at NC president and Srinagar MP Farooq Abdullah’s residence in the high security zone of Gupkar Road (which also houses two more ex-CMs, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti) and the resolution that came out of the meeting was the ‘Gupkar Declaration’.

The August 22 resolution reaffirmed that commitment to state “that we are bound by the contents of the Gupkar Declaration… and are committed to strive for the restoration of Articles 370 and 35A, the constitution of J&K and the restoration of the state… any division is unacceptable to us”.

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September 07, 2020