NC welcomes shift from 'jingoism to peace', demands restoration of J&K's special status

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Jammu and Kashmir National Conference on Thursday welcomed what it termed as an apparent shift in the BJP’s stand from belligerence to amity and peace, 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, 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 have in a joint statement welcomed the statement of Shri Gadkari that “India is not interested in expansion in land either from Pakistan or China” and that “India only wanted peace and amity”.  

The statement also welcomes the bold admission made by the leader of Gadkari’s  stature 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 statement also notes 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 Rajnath Singh, Defence Minister in his Jan Samvad address to party cadres. 

It is stated that mere statements to create an atmosphere of “peace, love and amity” however are to have no meaning unless GOI respects the political aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. 

The statement underscores the need to restore special status of Jammu and Kashmir and the constitutional guarantees  extended  from time to time under binding covenants,  unconstitutionally, arbitrarily and unilaterally taken away on 5th August 2019. 

The signatories to the statement have 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 is pointed out, is under huge economic stress and the border skirmishes are to further compound its problems. It is stated that revocation of 5th August 2019 decisions and unconditional dialogue with all the stakeholders is pivotal to the lasting peace and prosperity in the region.

The statement demands 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 calls 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.