On its 21st “Foundation Day,” People Democratic Party (PDP) Tuesday reiterated its commitment to fight for restoration of honor and dignity of people of Jammu and Kashmir.
In a statement, senior party leaders said August 5 “marks a black day in the constitutional history of J&K, when solemn commitments made by the same Parliament and in Constitution of India were annulled for a majoritarian goal of bulldozing the country into one saffron color.”
They said the unconstitutional measures have had an impact on J&K worse than that of the worst natural calamity. “The state was dismembered, downgraded, humiliated and stripped of its dignity. This has not just devastated the foundations of the trust people of J&K had put in the Constitution but also created ripples all around,” they said.
The party President Mehbooba Mufti continues to be under detention for around a year and most of its leaders under house arrest. Referring to scrapping of Article 370 and Article 35A, the leaders said this was in “violation of all the commitments made to the people of J&K” and the repeated decisions of the Supreme Court that these Articles and the special status of J&K had attained finality.
The leaders said the party had been founded in 1999 by its patron Mufti Mohammed Sayeed to bring J&K out of the morass of uncertainty, violence and lawlessness.
“It had been the founding principle of PDP that Kashmir which has been a bone of contention between India and Pakistan should be converted into a bridge of understanding. For this, a campaign of opening the traditional routes of trade and travel between two parts of J&K was launched and significant progress achieved. The PDP workers laid down their lives for the cause and ultimately the roads were opened after decades of hostility and suspicion,” they said.
Internally, the leaders recalled, that the PDP stressed the need to reduce the footprints of security forces and provide people of J&K full benefits of democracy and development. “The PDP reiterates its commitment to these objectives and will continue to strive through peaceful and democratic means to achieve these goals,” the leaders said.
Reiterating their faith in the leadership of the party President Mehbooba Mufti, the leaders said the party will take a call on all major issues facing the state on her release from detention. They said this was time for every citizen of the state to put up a united democratic resistance to the “attempts at destroying our culture and the inclusive societal framework.”
The leaders said August 5 was an “attempt to erase the timeline from 1931 to 2019” without recognizing the history that saw people of J&K withstanding and surviving the worst historical episodes to end its distinct identity, traditions, culture and languages.
Meanwhile, emphasising for adopting the vision of peace and reconciliation envisaged by Sayed, the party leaders in Jammu said the roadmap formulated by it still holds the key to peace and stability in the subcontinent.
“Today the relevance of the PDP’s vision has assumed more significance in view of the current scenario not only in Jammu and Kashmir but entire subcontinent. We have been insisting that there is no alternate to reconciliation and dialogue and our late leader Mufti Muhammad Sayed always believed that Jammu and Kashmir can be an epicentre of south Asian cooperation”, they said.
The speakers highlighted the contribution of the party in “restoring peace not only in J&K but in the entire region after its formation in 1999.” “The very foundation of the party was laid on the promise to struggle for strengthening ties between the different shades of opinion within the state, people of three erstwhile regions, state and rest of the country besides with the neighbouring countries,” they said.