APM on future of J&K soon, in touch with Mehbooba: Farooq

National Conference president Dr Farooq Abdullah addressing a press conference after a party meeting in Srinagar on Thursday. -Excelsior/Shakeel
National Conference president Dr Farooq Abdullah addressing a press conference after a party meeting in Srinagar on Thursday. -Excelsior/Shakeel

NC president holds first party meet since Aug 19

Excelsior Correspondent

Srinagar, Aug 20: For the first time since the abrogation of Article 370 last year, National Conference (NC) president and MP, Dr. Farooq Abdullah, today chaired a meeting of four of his senior party leaders who were also detained last year.

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Abdullah said that future course will be decided only when leaders of all parties meet. He said that he was in touch with the PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Gupkar declaration.
The four party leaders including NC’s general secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar, provincial president Kashmir Nasir Aslam Wani, former Minister Abdul Rahim Rather and senior leader Mohammad Shafi Uri met at the residence of Dr. Farooq Abdullah this evening.
Abdullah said that five more party leaders will be called tomorrow, adding that the meetings with the party leaders will continue in the coming days.
Earlier on Wednesday, National Conference had said that party has taken cognizance of the stand taken by Government of J&K in High Court for detention of its senior party leaders and added party has called a meeting with such leaders on August 20 in order to expose the assertions of Government regarding their “illegal” confinement.
Soon after holding a meeting with the party leaders, Dr. Abdullah told reporters that today’s meeting was aimed to see whether his colleagues can come out of their homes after one year and 15 days. “The motive behind our meeting was to see if our people who have been locked in for 12 months could come out of their homes, as the Government said they are not locked. I am grateful to see them free today and hope it’s not just one time,” he said.
Abdullah said soon after the leaders will be released, the future course of action would be made public once the leaders will sit together and hold discussions. “Once all the leaders are set free, we will sit together and discuss the issues properly,” he said.
About the meeting over the Gupkar declaration, which was earlier disallowed by the Government, Dr Abdullah said: “We will have the All Parties Meeting on the Gupkar declaration. We are not running away from that.”
He said that they are not going to remain silent in any way on the happening since Aug 5 last year. “Let people come out. The day people are out, we will sit down and Farooq Abdullah will say what we are going to do.”
Asked about the Shah Faesal’s parting ways from politics, he said if the consciousness of somebody is weak, Farooq Abdullah is not responsible for that. “He has to answer his conscience and his God. I am not supposed to talk about him,” he said.
Asked about the role of MPs in Parliament, Dr Farooq said that “Did I get a chance to attend the sessions in the Parliament. You will see my role when I reach the Parliament.”
Replying to a query about the PDP chief, Dr Abdullah said: “I am in constant touch with Mehbooba Mufti. I am concerned about her prolonged detention. We do want to see her free and other leaders of Jammu and Kashmir.”
About the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, Abdullah said that the people here are facing miserable conditions, adding that the business is zero, tourism is zero. “There is suffering everywhere in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
Asked how long the people have to wait for the future course of action, Dr Abdullah said: “Kashmiris have waited from 70 years, so how does it matter if they will have to wait for five more years.”

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