Wednesday, October 28, 2020


J&K continues to be political jigsaw puzzle for Delhi

IANS | October 05, 2020 01:26 PM

SRINAGAR: It has been over one year since Jammu and Kashmir lost its special status, but politically the union territory continues to be a jigsaw puzzle whose pieces do not seem to fall in place sometime soon.

Having ruled the state for over 70 years harping on the special status protected by Articles 370 and 35A, both of which were abrogated on August 5, 2019, regional political parties and even the mainstream political parties, are still undecided about the way forward.
The largest regional political party, the National Conference (NC), headed by Dr. Farooq Abdullah, wants the Pre-August 5, 2019 status restored before a genuine political process can be restated in J&K. Joining chorus with the NC, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) headed by Mehbooba Mufti, Peoples Conference (PC) headed by Sajad Gani Lone, Awami National Conference (ANC) headed by Khalida Shah, the CPI-M, etc., have supported the restoration of J&K's special status by pledging support to the 'Gupkar Declaration'.
The declaration wants Articles 370, 35A and statehood restored as a pre-condition for these parties to join any future political process. While the Congress does not publicly support the restoration of 370 and 35A for obvious reasons, yet the party has stated that the manner in which these changes were brought in has left everything to be desired.
Known otherwise to hedge his bets, Farooq Abdullah recently went too far by saying that the mistrust between Delhi and Srinagar has grown so deep that 'Kashmiris would rather like to be ruled by China'. Insiders attribute the hardening of anti-Delhi posture by Abdullah to his son, Omar Abdullah, who reportedly believes that after August 5, 2019, Delhi has choked the space in which pro-India regional parties could operate in Kashmir.

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