NC welcomes BJP’s shift from jingoism to peace, demands restoration of Special Status of J&K

Srinagar: Welcoming the shift in the Bhartiya Janata Party’s (BJP) stand from belligerence to amity and peace, the National Conference (NC) on Friday demanded restoration of Special Status of Jammu and Kashmir allegedly taken away unconstitutionally, arbitrarily and unilaterally on August 5, 2019.
In a joint statement issued by ten senior leaders of the NC, including party president Dr Farooq Abdullah and two other party Members of Parliament (MPs) Mohammad Akbar Lone and Justice (Retd) Hasnain Masoodi, has welcomed the apparent shift in the BJP’s stand from belligerence to amity and peace, discernible from the recent statements of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Nitin Gadkari.
The other NC leaders included Mohammad Shafi Uri, Mian Altaf Ahmad, Shammi Oberoi, Qamar Ali Akhoon, Devender Singh Rana, Khalid Najeeb Suharwardy, and Javaid Rana.
They welcomed the statement of Mr Gadkari that “India is not interested in expansion in land either from Pakistan or China” and that “India only wanted peace and amity”.
They also welcomed the bold admission made by the leader of Mr 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 alleged hostile and aggressive posture that would day in and day out call for armed adventure across Line of Control (LoC), to a conciliatory posture advocated by Mr Rajnath Singh 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 Government of India (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 August 5, 2019.
The signatories to the statement have expressed deep anguish over skirmishes on LoC and Line of Actual Control (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 their problems.
The statement said that revocation of August 5, 2019 decisions and unconditional dialogue with all the stakeholders is pivotal to the lasting peace and prosperity in the region.
They demand immediate annulment of all the August 5, 2019 decisions and restoration of the August 4, 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.