Statements to create an atmosphere of ‘peace, love and amity’ have no meaning unless the Centre respects the political aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, say 11 leaders of the party
Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s all-party meeting over the Ladakh face-off with China and the death of 20 soldiers, the top leadership of the National Conference (NC) on Friday praised the BJP leadership’s reconciliatory tone and demanded the restoration of pre-August 5, 2019 constitutional position of Jammu and Kashmir and the unification of the Union Territories (UT) of Ladakh with J&K.
Eleven senior leaders of the NC said in a joint statement that the party noted with satisfaction the change from a hostile and aggressive posture to a conciliatory posture advocated by Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
“Statements to create an atmosphere of ‘peace, love and amity’ have no meaning unless the Centre respects the political aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. We demand immediate annulment of all the 5th August 2019 decisions and restoration of the 4th August 2019 constitutional position of Jammu and Kashmir,” the joint statement reads.
The statement was signed by NC president and Member Parliament Farooq Abdullah, MPs Mohammad Akbar Lone and Hasnain Masoodi, besides senior party leaders Mohammad Shafi Uri, Mian Altaf Ahmad, Shammi Oberoi, Qamar Ali Akhoon, Devender Singh Rana, Khalid Najeeb Suharwardy and Javaid Rana.
The NC also pointed out the recent statement of BJP leader and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari that “India was not interested in expansion in land either from Pakistan or China and only wanted peace and amity”.
The NC expressed deep anguish over the skirmishes on the Line of Control (LoC) and the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and the consequent loss of life and property.
“The civilian population in the border areas is under huge economic stress and the border skirmishes are to further compound its problems. Revocation of 5th August 2019 decisions and unconditional dialogue with all the stakeholders is pivotal to the lasting peace and prosperity in the region,” the joint statement reads.
It called for the opening of all traditional routes, including Kargil-Skardu, Jammu-Sialkot, Poonch – Rawalakot, to allow free movement of people across the LoC and the LAC and to promote people-to-people contact and strengthen inter-regional, trade and cultural links.