Gupkar Declaration: NC Says Apni Party Works To Protect The Interests Of Its Delhi Masters

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SRINAGAR: The controversy over the Gupkar Declaration has taken an angry turn as the Jammu and Kashmir National Conference alleged newly floated Apni Party’s singular purpose was to protect the interests of their masters in New Delhi by demeaning collective efforts of Gupkar signatories aimed to restore the Special Status of J&K as guaranteed in the constitution of the country.

Apni Party leaders with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi on March 14, 2020.

NC issued a statement, apparently in reference to Bukhari saying that he does not promise people what is not achievable.

“Bukhari has accepted the abrogation of Art 370 and 35 A as fait accompli and wants J&K people to gulp down the indignation and slur J&K was subjected to,” the statement issued by NC spokesman Imran Nabi Dar said. “NC refuses to do that and has taken upon itself to come with a unified platform in the form of Gupkar declaration to get the state’s special status back. The party has already taken the battle to the Apex Court.”

While referring to Bukhari’s claim that the political parties in J&K had a premonition about the abrogation of Articles 370, 35A, Imran said such unsubstantiated statement reveals his aversion for the widespread unity brought about the endeavours of Dr Farooq Abdullah and various other signatories of Gupkar Declaration.

A file photo former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti with Syed Altaf Bukhari. KL Image by Bilal Bahadur

“Altaf Bukhari has obliquely claimed that he was aware about the planned abrogation of Articles 370 and 35 A. Prior to Aug 05 2019, he was a senior member of PDP. Would he care to explain what he was doing about it? Did he try to stop it or warn others about the abrogation? Why did he keep mute?” he said adding that it seems Bukhari has accepted the Aug 05 decisions,” the statement said.

“Had Altaf Bukhari cared to read the Gupkar Declaration he would not have made such illogical statements.  Every time, he speaks, it is either about power or position and government formation. The Gupkar declaration is about restoring J&K’s special position which was illegally, unconstitutionally snatched on 5th Aug 2019,” Dar said. “It is not just here in Jammu and Kashmir, that the political parties are striving to protect the legitimate interests of the natives, elsewhere also different political parties have come on a single platform and are speaking in one voice to secure the interests of their people. Only the Apni Party is treading on a path which is detrimental to the interests of the people of J&K.  The Gupkar Declaration emphatically represents the mood and feelings of people of J&K while the Apni Party is serving the interests of New Delhi, by weakening the widespread concord on the matter.”

Bukhari Interview

Speaking to a Delhi news portal, Bukhari had said that parties claiming to get Article 370 back are actually hoodwinking people.

A file photo of senior leaders of mainstream political parties during a meeting on August 4, 2019.

“These people met on 3 August and said we will protect Article 370, which was removed two days later. So the resolution is over. Yes, the Apni Party is for 370 restoration, but only the Supreme Court or the Parliament can do that. No regional party can do that,” Bukhari was quoted saying. “They (parties) are hoodwinking people and creating a smokescreen by demanding Article 370. Gupkar Declaration is a means to grab power and nothing else.”

Bukhari told the news portal that “the mainstream parties knew about the decision to revoke the special status beforehand”.

File photo of Dr Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Justice Hasnian Masoodi with PM Narendra Modi in New Delhi.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi had conveyed this to the NC when a party delegation including president Farooq Abdullah, vice president Omar Abdullah and Anantnag MP Justice (retd) Hasnain Masoodi met him days before the Article 370 was scrapped,” the news portal quoted Bukhari saying.

On demographic change, Bukhari told the portal: “The PM told me only a mad person will think of changing the demography of Kashmir. ‘Is Kashmir part of Pakistan? Why should we change the demography of Kashmir then?’” He is reported to have said in the statement that the PDP also knew that Article 370 was going. Bukhari was then in the PDP.

Did he personally know it was happening? “Yes we had some idea that something is going to happen but honestly we didn’t know what it was exactly. About the removal of 35A, we were 100 per cent sure even when we were in government. We had told Mehbooba ji let’s modify Article 35A as it is against Islam. Islam provides property rights to women, but she didn’t listen” Bukhari told the interviewer.

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