National Conference has welcomed what it called the apparent shift in the BJP's stand "from hostility to amity", "discernible from the recent statements of Rajnath Singh and Nitin Gadkari, two senior ministers in the Union Cabinet".
The NC Members of Parliament Dr Farooq Abdullah, Mohammad Akbar Lone and Hasnain Masoodi and the senior party leaders Mohammad Shafi Uri, Mian Altaf Ahmad, Shammi Oberoi, Qamar Ali Akhoon, Devender Singh Rana, Khalid Najeeb Suharwardy, and Javaid Rana in a joint statement welcomed Gadkari's statement that "India is not interested in expansion in land either from Pakistan or China" and that "India only wanted peace and amity".
The party also welcomed the "bold admission" made by Gadkari that while he and his colleagues want to make India strong but "the strength does not come from expansion" and that they want "peace not violence" and to "work together."
The party leaders also noted with satisfaction the "change from a hostile and aggressive posture that would day in and day out call for armed adventure across LoC to a conciliatory posture advocated by Sh Rajnath Singh, Defence Minister in his Jan Samvad address to party cadres".
The party leaders however stated that "mere statements" to create an atmosphere of "peace, love and amity" shall have no meaning unless GoI respects the "political aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir."
The party leaders, according to the statement, underscored the need to restore special status of Jammu and Kashmir and the constitutional guarantees extended from time to time under "binding covenants (which were) unconstitutionally, arbitrarily and unilaterally taken away on 5th August 2019".
Meanwhile, the signatories to the statement expressed deep anguish over skirmishes on LoC and LAC and the consequent loss of life and property.
The civilian population in the border areas, it pointed out, is under huge economic stress and the border skirmishes are to further compound their problems.
The statement said the revocation of 5th August 2019 decisions and unconditional dialogue with all the stakeholders "are pivotal to the lasting peace and prosperity in the region".
The party leaders demanded immediate "annulment of all the 5th August 2019 decisions and restoration of the 4th August 2019 constitutional position of Jammu and Kashmir". The statement also called for opening of all traditional routes including Kargil- Skardu, Jammu- Sialkot, Poonch – Rawalakot, to allow free movement of people across LoC and LAC and to promote people to people contact and strengthen inter-regional trade and cultural links.