National Conference president Farooq Abdullah will be attending Parliament for the first time since the scrapping of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir on August 5 last year and he told The Tribune that he would be raising the issue unitedly with the rest of the Opposition.
Farooq Abdullah, three-time Chief Minister of J&K, represents the Srinagar constituency in Parliament and he would be attending Parliament for the first time since August last year as he was under detention under the Public Safety Act. He was released in March this year after more than seven-month-long detention.
“I am going to Delhi tomorrow and will attend Parliament, where I shall be raising all issues,” he told The Tribune over phone on the eve of his departure for the Union capital.
Asked specifically, whether he would be raising the issue of the scrapping of the Article 370 and his fight for the restoration of the statehood and special status as underlined in the Gupkar declaration reiteration on August 22, Farooq replied: “Yes, we will raise this issue with all the political force along with Opposition. We (NC has three MPs in the Lok Sabha, including him) will hold a meeting with Opposition leaders and raise this issue unitedly in Parliament.”
“You know what they (the Central government) did on August 5, 2019, and what happened in Kashmir thereafter. All this we are going to talk about and tell the nation about the true picture, as the action was illegal and unconstitutional,” he said.
He claimed that the Opposition had supported the special status for J&K earlier too and this time they would be supporting the stand again.
He dismissed all the talk of the National Conference having diluted the contents of the Gupkar declaration as “nothing but figment of imagination”.
“We (NC) have held meetings of the south and north zone units. The cadre has said they are solidly behind the declaration and restoration of August 4, 2019, status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. There is no dilution. We are firm in our stand,” he said.
Regarding any fresh meeting or conversation with the signatories of the Gupkar declaration, Farooq Abdullah said where was the chance for another meeting? He alluded to the continued arrest of PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti under the PSA. “We have everything in writing (from all signatories).
Among other issues, he said he would talk and press for the inclusion of Punjabi, Gojri and Pahari in the official languages of J&K. “Why those who speak these languages be discriminated against?” he said.