Picture By Zargar Zahoor
Srinagar, Jun 9: People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration, an amalgam of various parties fighting for the restoration of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, on Wednesday said that conglomerate will use every opportunity, even feeble one, to “resist” and stand by people.
The statement comes as Jammu and Kashmir is rife with rumours of fresh division of the region amid reports of troop build-up in some parts and a series of meetings between top government functionaries from the J&K and central government in New Delhi.
“See, there was first need for us to meet after 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,” Farooq Abdullah, the National Conference President who heads the alliance, told reported after the PAGD first meeting in almost six months at the residence of PDP chief and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti.
Asked if he will relinquish parliament and resign if any such decision was taken which goes against the will of people, he said: “We have to fight even by remaining in fire. My father was 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.”
Asked if he was trying to suggest for a united opposition, he said, “Opposition is united and will continue to be united.”
At this juncture CPI (M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami who has been nominated to be the new spokesman of the alliance said that as far as question of going to Parliament or not, it should “stop somewhere”.
“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,” he said, adding, “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.”
Asked why PAGD was not talking to government, Farooq said: “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 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.”
Regarding the question delimitation, Farooq 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, the octogenarian leader 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.”
Farooq, who is parliamentarian from Srinagar, 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 disease. “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 boarder 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.”