Jk News Today special
Jammu, July 05:
It took full 12 days for the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration to comprehend that the June 24 all-party meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Jammu and Kashmir was a “ disappointment” , while on June 26, two days after the meeting , PAGD president Farooq Abdullah had described it as a first step toward revival of the political process in J&K.
The argument that there were no assurances , nor any confidence building measures came into sight before and after the meeting is at variance with the reality, to say the least. And , its contradiction is too obvious to be overlooked.
Did Prime Minister ever invite any of these leaders as the members of the Alliance that offered glimpses of its being together ever since it was formed in October 2020. PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti ,who also is the vice president of PAGD , had admitted that she had wanted the alliance president Farooq Abdullah to attend the meeting on behalf of all the constituents , but since the invitation for the individual parties and their leaders , so they were going to the APM in their individual capacities . This is strange alliance , which comes together , and then splits at the same time.
It was known and clear to all the constituents from the very beginning the PM neither invited them as PAGD nor listened to them as the voice of the alliances. He heard them out as the leaders of National Conference, PDP and CPI-M . It was the same treatment to all other leaders from Jammu and Kashmir.
The APM had three parts – one, there had been shifting stands of the constituents of the PAGD – they had vowed not to bow to anything short of the restoration of the Article 370, 35 A and reunification of the state as it existed on August 4, 2019, a day before everything that they were asking for was done way with.
Strong words were added to the second version of the Gupkar Declaration on August 22, 2020 . It read,” There is unanimity amongst us to tirelessly struggle to get back the special status and restore the Constitutional guarantees forcibly taken away against our will ,” and it went on to assert: “We want to assure the people that all our political activities will be subservient to the sacred goal of reverting to the status of J&K as it existed on August 4, 2019.” The words had no meaning because the Alliance participated in the District Development Council polls as PAGD without getting anything that the leaders had assured to the people . It was a good step as they discovered virtue in the grassroots democracy.
Second, the PAGD was looking for an opportunity to air its views on the issues concerning the people. The pandemic had broken the backbone of the people .The masses were struggling to survive.
There was an overflowing reservoir of frustration among the people over their helplessness . They thought, though in vain, that the PAGD constituents , which included National Conference and PDP that had ruled the erstwhile state for years.
On June 9, PAGD declared that its doors were “ open” ( f0r talks) . “ We have not closed any option,” so said Farooq Abdullah . They all started waiting for the invite , then obviously they were not looking for disappointing experience . Once invited , they took their flight to Delhi to attend the meeting , and after having said, what they wanted to , all of them said that the meeting was held in a “ cordial atmosphere”. The word “ disappointment “ was not used anywhere by any of these leaders.
On June 26, , Farooq Abdullah told media in Srinagar that the all-party meeting with PM was the “ first step from their side toward revival of the political process in Jammu and Kashmir”. His son Omar Abdullah who had attended the meeting in his capacity as former chief minister, also did not hint anything negative about the meeting.
Third, the question is , how the first step toward revival of political process became a disappointment on July 5 , and that too, when the people want these leaders to move on.
PM has kept his word. The Delimitation Commission will be on a four-day visit of J&K from Tuesday to ascertain views of political parties and leaders . That will further push forward the process for the Assembly polls . He has moved beyond the first step .