JAMMU AND Kashmir remains’ as far from Delhi and dil [heart] India as it never has been, ”the Peoples Alliance for the Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) said on Wednesday, on the eve of the second anniversary of the repeal of Article 370 and the division of the State in Union territories.
He alleged that there was a forced silence in J&K. “A process of strangulation of democracy and democratic rights has started. The continued repression and restrictions on movement and association of the people and the gagging of the media have resulted in a forced silence, ”said Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami, spokesperson for PAGD, an alliance forged last year to demand the restoration of the special status of J&K.
He said the recent multi-stakeholder meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had raised hopes in J&K but nothing concrete had been done to restore the confidence of the people. “J&K also remains far from Delhi and the Dil [heart] from India as it never has been. On the contrary, the distances widen even more… ”, declared Tarigami.
“It was hoped that the Indian government would realize the futility of its decisions namely on August 5, 2019. The recent participation of the leaders of J&K [in the meeting] with the Prime Minister was a leap of faith in that hope, but none of the steps necessary to start restoring the shattered trust of the people of J&K has been taken, ”he said.
Calling the repeal of the special status an unprecedented constitutional attack, the PAGD said what had been done with J&K could be replicated in other states as well. “To degrade the historical state of J&K and to divide it into two distinct territories of the Union …”, indicates its press release.
Expressing concerns about the jobs and land rights of J&K residents, the PAGD called the slogan “Naya Kashmir” a joke.
“The repeal of section 35 A made permanent resident status redundant. The protection of jobs and land rights has been arbitrarily suppressed, exacerbating alienation and feelings of insecurity in all regions. J & K’s economy practically collapsed as the tourism, trade, agriculture, horticulture and handicrafts sectors were hit hard … The fact remains that no claims does stand up to scrutiny, ”Tarigami said. “BJP’s Naya Kashmir hoax is a joke now.”
The PAGD also called on the people to remain united to thwart the attempts of the forces of division and reiterated that the struggle for the rights of the people will continue. “We sincerely call on all sections of our people (…) to remain united and not to fall prey to false and slanderous campaigns and attempts at division aimed at dividing and disarming our people,” Tarigami said. “We are sure that in this time of serious crises, we will not succumb but will continue our struggle for the defense of our rights, using every opportunity by peaceful and legal means.”