The signatories to the August 2019 Gupkar Declaration have issued a joint statement on Saturday reiterating their commitment for the restoration of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status
The statement said the signatories have barely managed to establish basic level of communication with each other in the face of a series of “prohibitive and punitive curbs imposed by the government, aimed at impeding all social and political interactions”.
“The limited confabulations held within the constraints imposed have resulted in this unanimous resolution.”
The statement said the events of August 5, 2019, when the Central government revoked the special status of the erstwhile state, have unrecognizably changed the relationship between Jammu and Kashmir and New Delhi.
“In a spitefully shortsighted and unconstitutional move, Articles 370 and 35A were abrogated and the state was bifurcated and relegated to the status of two union territories and its Constitution tried to be made unenforceable.
“The series of measures undertaken on 5th August 2019 were grossly unconstitutional and in reality measures of disempowerment and a challenge to the basic identity of the people of Jammu and kashmir. The measures attempt to redefine who we are. These changes were accompanied by repressive measures meant to silence people and coerce them into submission, and continue unabated,” it added.
The statement further said that these are testing times and times of pain for the peace loving people of Jammu and Kashmir.
“We all reiterate our commitment to collectively fight to restore the special status of Jammu and Kashmir as guaranteed under the Constitution and the commitments made from time to time.
“There is unanimity amongst us that collective institution is the effective way to fight for these rights and tirelessly struggle to get back the special status and restore the Constitutional guarantees forcibly taken away, against our will.
“We want to assure the people that all our political activities will be subservient to the sacred goal of reverting to the status Jammu and Kashmir as it existed on August 4, 2019
“While expressing gratitude to the people of India, the political parties, the intelligentsia and other civil society groups for opposing the unconstitutional measures of 5th August 2019 and ever since standing with the people of Jammu and Kashmir in this crises, we appeal for their unstinted support to our just cause till the unconstitutional measures are undone and the special status restored,” the statement added.
It also exhorted the leadership of the sub-continent to take due notice of the ever-increasing skirmishes at the Line of Actual Control and Line of Control resulting in casualties on both sides and unabated violent incidents in Jammu and Kashmir and work for enduring peace in the region.
The signatories to the declaration are former Chief Ministers Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, along with G.A. Mir, M.Y. Tarigami, Sajad Gani Lone and Muzaffar Shah.