Our doors open for dialogue, stand on Art 370 unchanged: Farooq

PAGD leaders addressing a press conference in Srinagar on Wednesday. -Excelsior/Shakeel
PAGD leaders addressing a press conference in Srinagar on Wednesday. -Excelsior/Shakeel

Fayaz Bukhari
SRINAGAR, June 9: People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) today said that that their doors are open for dialogue and made it clear that they stand for restoration of Article 370 and Statehood to Jammu and Kashmir.

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Dr Farooq Abdullah who heads the PAGD told reporters after the meeting of the amalgam leaders held in almost six months at the residence of PDP president and former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, that their doors are open for dialogue and they have never closed them.
“I want to tell you, we have not closed any of our doors. If they invite us, we will see to this thing but we have not closed options. We are not closing the doors”, he said.
Dr Abdullah said the important thing remains that the resolution which the various parties had passed on August 4 2019 stands. “We are determined on it and there is no change and we stand by it.”
He said that the conglomerate will use every opportunity, even feeble one, to resist anti-people moves and stand by them.
A meeting held in the backdrop of rumours of fresh division of Jammu and Kashmir and amid reports of troop build-up in parts of Kashmir and a series of meetings between top Government officials from the J&K and Central Government in New Delhi recently.
“See, there was first need for us to meet after a long time. Rumours continue here every time. We don’t know anything and as you have heard the rumours, we have heard them also. We know nothing beyond it. They will do whatever they have to. We are holding firmly to the rope of Allah and are hopeful that the Almighty will keep our future secure,” Dr Abdullah said.
He said that they won’t leave any space and will continue for the rights of people in every forum. “We have to fight even by remaining in fire. My father was in Saudi Arabia and he knew he was going to be arrested on his arrival to New Delhi. The king of that time, Shah Faisal offered citizenship but Sheikh sahib out rightly rejected it, saying that he will douse off fire by remaining in fire. We will continue to fight in Parliament till we are alive and till member of it”, he said.
Asked if he was trying to suggest for a united opposition, he said, “Opposition is united and will continue to be united.”
Dr Abdullah said that the PAGD will use every opportunity and will continue to resist for against the anti-people moves.
“As far as PAGD is concerned, we will use every opportunity, even a feeble one and we are not going to lose it and will continue to resist for our people. I want to assure you on behalf of PAGD leadership that never ever misunderstand us and we must convey it to the people of every region, Jammu, Kashmir and even Ladakh that we will be, we shall be besides people who are suffering. Still there is no hope but certainly we will be on their side”, he said.
Regarding the question of delimitation, Dr Abdullah said: “We are in court, in Supreme Court. We are waiting for it. The chairperson of the Delimitation Commission has been the judge of the Supreme Court and once we get the response, we will take a decision then.”
Asked what PAGD was doing politically, he said: “You yourself know what our condition is today. We have to even meet people with caution as the disease (COVID-19) is such, which I also contracted, and I am still recuperating from it. Lakhs of people succumbed to the virus. Today we prayed for peace to all those who died due to it.”
He said that “there is tremendous pressure of the police on people.”
“People are being arrested and police is doing this and that. Children are being arrested. I think this should not happen. They don’t even allow people to move as they have raised unnecessary barricades. If walking on road is a democratic right, why bar it?” he said, adding, “Why are they queuing up vehicles? I will also request the Lieutenant Governor to have attention towards it also and stop this arrest spree. The situation will turn such worse that they would not be able to control the people.”
Another issue, he said, was COVID-19. “Every sector has been pushed to the brink of disaster. Pick any sector which is not ruined. May it be tourism industry or a small shopkeeper, cart puller or transporter, everyone has been affected. On top of it, there has been hailstorm which has badly affected the farmer,” he said, adding, “What will happen with Rs 1000 per month given to some people? What will happen with it? They (Government) need to devise borader policy for tourism industry or any other sector. They should think that people are not pushed like the son of the master (teacher) who ended life. ”
He said that government should also give thrust to vaccinate more and more people. “There are places where we have dispensaries by name only without staff. Today when I got opportunity to meet with LG during inauguration of the DRDO hospital at Khonmoh, and Chief Secretary and Financial Commissioner Health was also there, I requested them to devote attention towards far flung areas also and see if there are doctor and paramedical staff there and if they have medicines available,” he said, adding, “If we forget them, there will be same situation which is prevailing everywhere.”
CPI (M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami has been nominated to be the new spokesman of the Alliance.