SRINAGAR — In a first, Pakistan has endorsed the Gupkar Declaration, a joint statement of various mainstream political parties of Kashmir seeking a rollback of August 5, 2019 decision of abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of erstwhile State into two federally ruled union territories – Ladakh and J&K.
Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Monday said that there has been a rise in political resistance movement in Jammu and Kashmir as the Kashmiri people struggle for their “inalienable right to self-determination”.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Qureshi said the political parties in ‘Indian administered Kashmir’ rejected India’s August 5 move to annex the “disputed territory and forged an alliance” to wage a joint struggle aimed at reviving the old status of the territory.
He said, “This is not an ordinary occurrence but an important development as the joint statement issued by the political parties hold the signatures of Farooq Abdullah and enjoy the support of the Congress party which is the main opposition party in India.”
The foreign minister highlighted that Pakistan premier Imran Khan raised the Kashmir issue at every global forum, drawing the attention of the world leaders over the sensitive matter.
“The economy of Kashmir is completely ruined. However, thousands of innocent Kashmiris are in captivity since 2019,” Qureshi said.
Regarding relations between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, he said the Kingdom has not asked for a loan repayment nor has it cut our oil supply. He remarked, “We won’t be pressured into accepting Israel.”
All the pro-India political parties including Congress in J&K demanded rollback of August 5, 2019 decision which led to abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of erstwhile State of J&K into two union territories – Ladakh and J&K.
The demand was raised in a joint statement issued by National Conference (NC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Indian National Congress, Peoples Conference (PC), CPI (Marxist), and Awami National Conference (ANC).
“We are committed to strive for the restoration of Articles 370 and 35A, the Constitution of J&K and the restoration of the State and any division of the State are unacceptable to us. We unanimously reiterate that there can be ‘nothing about us without us’,” reads the joint statement, which was signed by Farooq Abdullah of NC, Mehbooba Mufti of PDP, Ghulam Ahmad Mir of Congress, Sajad Lone of PC, M Y Tarigami of CPI (M), and Muzaffar Shah of ANC.
All these five political parties were the signatories of Gupkar Declaration of August 4, 2019, which unanimously resolved that “all the parties would be united in their resolve to protect and defend identity, autonomy and the special status of the J&K against all attacks and onslaughts whatsoever.”
The meeting was convened at Srinagar MP Farooq Abdullah’s residence on Gupkar Road, which is how the name of the document came to be known.