Expanding its footprint to south Kashmir, J&K Peoples Conference (PC) held a massive rally in the once Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) bastion in Shangus on Sunday, with party chief Sajad Lone saying, “The issue of Article 370 is sacrosanct and its demand will never die. It is not subservient to our raising of the issue. The chapter of Article 370, contrary to what Delhi thinks, is not closed.”
He said the PC will speak truthfully to the people about the status of Article 370. “Our stand on Article 370 is clear. We will fight for whatever has been snatched from the people of Jammu and Kashmir unconstitutionally.”
In an oblique reference to the PDP and the National Conference, Mr. Lone said the traditional parties were hand in glove with Delhi in lieu of political space. “These parties have irreversibly damaged the cause of the people of Kashmir. The theatre is scripted, directed and produced by Delhi and they are mere actors enacting their respective roles. They at times have to shout, at times have to cry, at times have to act the martyr,” he said.
Mr. Lone said the administration was stifling the voices of the people and creating a pressure cooker like situation in Kashmir. “Those at the helm are spreading poison for our future generations. This administration is trying to show that they are living in a parallel universe of their own,” he said.
The rally was also attended by top PC leaders including Abdul Gani Vakil, Basharat Bukhari, Mansoor Hussain Soharvardy, Raja Aijaz Ali, Mohammad Abbas Wani etc.
Mr. Lone asked the NC “to explain its U-turn on participation in the delimitation exercise”.
“The NC must come out clean and explain the reasons for change of heart. What has changed in Kashmir for them to now deem this exercise legitimate? We can’t afford duplicity after what happened on August 5,” he said.