Srinagar: Ruling out formation of any ‘third-front’ in Jammu and Kashmir, the political leaders affiliated with different political parties Thursday said that the saner voices of the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir have come together to demand what rightfully belongs to the people of Union Territory.
Addressing a joint news conference in Jammu, Democratic Party Nationalist (DPN) president Ghulam Hassan Mir and former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader Dilawar Mir demanded release to all persons including the mainstream leaders ahead of January 26 as ‘’a goodwill gesture’.
Replying to a query about shaping up of a possible third-front, the duo leaders said there was no third front in offing while some saner voices have joined hands to demand what rightfully belongs to Jammu and Kashmir people.
“Everything regarding third front will come to the fore. The meeting by former legislators and ministers of erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir State with the Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu was aimed to demand rights of people. We talked about the sufferings of people including Srinagar-Jammu highway, which remain closed for 20 days in a month during winters, thus causing hardship to the people in reaching their destinations,” Ghulam Hassan Mir said, demanding Government of India to start dakota services in Jammu and Kashmir.
He said that they presented a memorandum before the LG Murmu which mentined certain issues including the development as well as the rights of people including internet restoration, revival of economy post August 5 decision.
“Since we met LG Murmu, some positive steps were taken including release of leaders and other persons of Kashmir who were lodged outside jails,” he said, adding that ahead of the Republic Day, the leaders who have been put under preventive custody be released as ‘a goodwill gesture’. He said that the persons who are lodged at outside jails be also released ahead of the Republic Day.
The duo leaders during a presser also demanded restoration of internet services in Jammu and Kashmir, saying that services were although restored in Jammu and some districts of Kashmir, but these services should be restored fully especially to the media persons, who have been facing hardships while performing their duties. “At least broadband services should be restored to the media persons, traders and others who are facing hardships from last five months,” they said.
They said on the eve of this R-Day, all the curbs across Jammu and Kashmir should be lifted. “We are also demanding the central government to restore Statehood to Jammu and Kashmir, secure jobs and land in UT,” they added.
About scrapping of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, the duo leaders said although people in Kashmir were not expecting such a decision and are not happy with it, but the credit goes to the government for making adequate security arrangements as well as to the people for not opting to violence.
However, Mir said that the people didn’t protest, but it doesn’t mean that they are happy with the government decision. “The case is still subjudice at Supreme Court, but any decision in this regard will not deter people to continue with their daily life,” he said.
Referring to a query, Dilawar Mir termed the expulsion of leaders as contrary to the party’s norms, saying that only party chief Mehbooba Mufti, who at present is under detention, has the authority to expel any member from the party. “I am still a PDP man and no one has any authority to remove from the party’s basic membership,” Mir said.
On January 9, PDP expelled some party leaders on the grounds of meeting the members of a foreign delegation in Srinagar without the consent party. Those expelled include Dilawar Mir, Rafi Ahmad Mir, Zaffar Iqbal, Abdul Majeed Padroo, Raja Manzoor Khan, Javaid Hussain Baig, Qamar Hussain and Abdul Rahim Rather — all former MLAs.
Earlier, some PDP leaders accompanied former PDP Finance Minister Altaf Bukhari and met LG Murmu, seeking restoration statehood, internet and protection in land and jobs. (Owais Gul/KNO)