SRINAGAR — The signatories of Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) on Wednesday held a meeting at the former Chief Minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chief Mehbooba Mufti’s residence at Gupkar Srinagar. The conglomerate discussed several issues and appointed Muhammad Yusuf Tarigami as its new spokesman.
The meeting chaired by the PAGD President and National Conference (NC) President Farooq Abdullah started at 5:10 p.m.
Besides Farooq and Mehbooba, the meeting was attended by Muhammad Yusuf Tarigami, Hassnain Masoodi, Javid Mustafa Mir, Muzaffar Ahmad Shah and Mehboob Beg.
Soon after holding the meeting, the leaders from PAGD stated that there has been no change in their stance on the declaration made on August 4, 2019. While talking to media persons, they said that they will “continue to fight for the rights of people”.
While responding to a volley of questions, Farooq Abdullah said that they are meeting after a long time as the COVID-19 pandemic has engulfed the whole world. “It is not like we didn’t meet intentionally. As you know the situation arising out of COVID-19, people are marinating distance to combat this dangerous virus,” he said.
When asked about the rumours about the division of Jammu and Kashmir, Farooq Abdullah said, “We don’t know anything. What they (New Delhi) have to do will do. We are holding on to the blessings of Allah.”
While condemning the ‘random’ arrests of youth, he said there is enormous police pressure.
“Pressure of police is huge. People are being arrested. Young boys are being picked up. Look at the place which is at stones throw from my residence. Police frequently block the road and they are clueless when asked why they are doing so, harassing people,” Abdullah said adding that he will appeal to the Lieutenant Governor to stop this harassment.
“People will go against you to such an extent that controlling them will become difficult,” he said.
Farooq said he won’t resign from the Parliament even if the Government of India takes any anti-people decision. “We will fight for the rights of people inside the Parliament,” he said, giving an example of his late father, saying when he was in Saudi Arabia and the Government of India issued an arrest warrant against him, the then Saudi king Shah Faisal offered him Saudi citizenship but his father declined saying he want to put out the fire while staying in the fire. “Similarly we also want to put out the fire while staying in the fire,” he said.
On this occasion, the newly appointed spokesperson, Muhamamd Yousuf Tarigami, said, “Never ever misunderstand us. We must convey to the people of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh, that we shall be always on the side of people and will fight for their rights.”
Pertinently, the PAGD was formed with the pledge of perseverance and steadfastness towards restoration of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir which was revoked by the by the Centre in August 2019. (KNT)
When asked whether he will resign as Member of Parliament, Farooq Abdullah said in case any unfavourable decision is taken by the government, he will “douse the flames in the fire”.
“I will not quit, but I will fight for my people in the parliament,” he said.
He added that the doors of PAGD has and will remain always open for everyone. “We have not been asked or informed about anything so far regarding the ongoing speculations.”
Shortly after the conclusion of the meeting, media persons were informed that Muhammad Yousuf Tarigami has been appointed as the new spokesperson of the conglomerate.
Pertinently, Peoples Conference Chairman Sajad Gani Lone, who quit the amalgam sometime ago, was the first spokesperson of the PAGD.
Tarigami said that the conglomerate will not leave any stone unturned for the betterment of the people. “We (PAGD) will use every opportunity for the wellbeing of the people,” he said.
The meeting has its significance as it has been called after a six-month-long period and amid the speculations over the further bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir.
Pertinently, the PAGD, a conglomerate of political parties was formed in Jammu and Kashmir to fight for the restoration of August 4, 2019, position. Nonetheless, the silence prevailed within the conglomerate from last couple of months.
With inputs from KNO and KNT