All ‘options’ open in struggle to restore special status of J&K: PAGD

Srinagar, Jun 9 (PTI) The People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) in its first meeting in six months on Wednesday said it is keeping all its “options” open in the struggle for restoration of special status of Jammu and Kashmir. .

PAGD president Farooq Abdullah told reporters after the meeting, “We have not closed any option. Whenever they (Centre) invite us (for talks), we will discuss it.” The meeting took place at the residence of PDP president Mehbooba Mufti.

This is the first meeting of the alliance since December last year. At that time a meeting was held to discuss the elections to the District Development Council. The meeting comes after the Sajjad Lone-led People’s Conference pulled out of the alliance earlier this year. Lone was the spokesperson of the coalition. The PAGD nominated senior CPI(M) leader Mohammad Yusuf Tarigami as its spokesperson after Wednesday’s meeting.

Asked about speculations about further bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir, Abdullah said that the leaders of PAGD know as much as the common man. The President of the National Conference said, “We have also heard about rumours, like you. We do not know but we are firm and believe that Allah will protect us.

Abdullah said that after August 5, 2019, various steps taken by the Center have been challenged by political parties and we will continue with the legal option. He said the alliance could not do much politically due to the coronavirus pandemic. Asked whether he would resign from Parliament if the Union government further bifurcated the union territory, an agitated Abdullah said, “No.”

PAGD is an alliance of several mainstream parties of Jammu and Kashmir. It was formed last year to restore the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. On August 5, 2019, the central government had abolished most of the special status provisions of the state.

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