PDP allowed to hold first major meeting after over 1 year

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday held its first major meeting since August 5, 2019, when the Government of India had scrapped the special Constitutional status of Jammu and Kashmir. The meeting was held at PDP headquarters and witnessed participation of all its leaders except its detained president Mehbooba Mufti. The house detention of major PDP leaders was revoked by the J&K administration recently.

Addressing the media persons, PDP general secretary Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura said the meeting held after more than 13 months was “an opportunity to regroup the party leaders and ensure a detailed interaction takes place.”

“We are quite glad that all the leaders could participate in the meeting. A future course of action was also decided in the meeting,” Hanjura said. “It was unanimously decided that PDP will strive hard to reverse the decisions taken on August 5, 2019,” Hanjura said. He said that even as the government was announcing economic packages for providing a boost to J&Ks economy but “the larger issue was untouched and not being addressed.”

“The government may be busy announcing mega packages but the basic issue remains the same. We have always said that dialogue is the way forward and reiterate the same today,” he said.

Hanjura said the detention of PDP president and former J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti must come to an end soon. “It is unfortunate the way PSA on her has been extended repeatedly. The way a former Chief Minister is being treated is unfortunate,” Hanjura said.

A PDP spokesperson said it was decided in the meeting that the party “would continue to fight for resolution of the basic issue and advocate dialogue and reconciliation with all the stakeholders”. “As envisaged in the roadmap of our party which has become even more relevant today than ever before, PDP will continue to work for accomplishing the vision of its founder Mufti Muhammad Sayeed, who envisaged that Jammu & Kashmir has to become a bridge of peace rather than a battlefield in order to achieve everlasting peace in the whole subcontinent,” the spokesman said.

The spokesman said during the deliberations, it was observed that post August 5, 2019 “false semblance of normalcy was being created.”

“People are still shell shocked and unable to come to terms with what has happened. The situation has created a kind of a stalemate where nothing except all kinds of anti-Kashmiri steps like domicile laws etc. are being pushed in a hurry. These steps are further adding to the anger and frustrations of people, whose resolve to fight this injustice gets stronger with time,” the spokesman said.

The leaders who participated in the meeting said it was “resolved that the party demands the immediate release of all political detainees irrespective of their political ideology, whether lodged in Kashmir or outside.”

“The meeting expressed deep anguish over the recent spree of the killing of innocent people from Shopian to Sopore to Batamaloo and demanded that perpetrators be brought to book and families be given justice. It was also resolved that the party stands by thousands of youngsters of Kashmir who are routinely harassed and humiliated at the hands of security forces and other agencies by means of wrongful cases against them, random arrests, and curbs even on the right to express themselves. Such actions against our youth are unacceptable and would be resisted,” said a statement issued by the party.

The statement added that the meeting “condemned the targeting of the journalistic fraternity of the state wherein a case is being registered at the drop of a hat for merely reporting the facts of the ground.”

The meeting was presided over by PDP vice-president A R Veeri and addressed by general secretary G N Lone Hanjura, senior leaders Nizamudin Bhat, Muhammad Sartaj Madni, Naeem Akhtar, Syed Farooq Andrabi, Muhammad Khursheed Alam, Advocate Muhammad Yusuf Bhat, Safina Beg, Nazir Ahmad Khan, Syed Bari Andrabi. Other party leaders who were present included Aasiya Naqash, Zahoor Ahmad Mir, Mushtaq Ahmad Shah, Aijaz Ahmad Mir, Abdul Hameed Kosheen, Anjum Fazili, Abdul Razak Zawoora, Shiekh Ghulam Mohi ud din,  Waheed ur Rehman Parra, Muhammad Yaseen Bhat, Muhamad Amin, Tahir Qadri, Gulzar Ahmad Dar, Sofi Irfan, Fayaz Ahmad Mir, Dr Harbaksh Singh, Tahir Syeed, Ali Muhammad Wani, Haji Pervez Ahmad, Rouf Ahmad Bhat , Arif Laigaroo, Abdul Muhammad Shafi, Qayoom Bhat, Bashir Ahmad Beg, Farooq Ahmad, Umar Dar and Mushtaq Ahmad.