Srinagar, July 28th: Observing its 21st foundation day with its President detained for about one year, most of its top leadership under house arrest and thousands of workers reeling under the impact of detentions and persecution, the People Democratic Party (PDP) today reiterated its commitment to fight for the restoration of honor and dignity of the people of Jammu & Kashmir.
Senior party leaders in a statement said August 5 marks a black day in the constitutional history of J&K, when solemn commitments made by the same Parliament and in the Constitution of India were annulled for a majoritarian goal of bulldozing the country into one saffron color.
They said the unconstitutional measures have had an impact on J&K worse than that of the worst natural calamity.
“The State was dismembered, downgraded, humiliated and stripped of its dignity. This has not just devastated the foundations of the trust people of J&K had put in the Constitution of India but also created ripples all around.
Referring to the move to scrap Article 370 and Article 35A, the leaders said this was in violation of all the commitments made to the people of J&K and the repeated decisions of the Supreme Court of India that these Articles and the special status of J&K had attained finality.
“But unfortunately, the Parliament disregarded everything that had happened in that very institution and betrayed a people who are outnumber 1:1000 and who had joined the country in the hope of being able to preserve their faith, local laws and value systems. However, as is evident, all these are now exposed to assault and extinction,” the statement added.
The leaders said that the Party had been founded in 1999 by its patron Mufti Mohammed Sayeed and his colleagues to bring J&K out of the morass of uncertainty, violence and lawlessness.
It had been the founding principle of PDP that Kashmir which has been a bone of contention between India and Pakistan should be converted into a bridge of understanding, the leaders said.
“For this a campaign of opening the traditional routes of trade and travel between two parts of J&K was launched and significant progress achieved”.
“The PDP workers laid down their lives for the cause and ultimately the roads were opened after decades of hostility and suspicion,” the leaders added.
Internally, the leaders recalled that the PDP stressed the need to reduce the footprints of security forces and provide the people of J&K full benefits of democracy and development.
The PDP reiterates its commitment to these objectives and will continue to strive through “peaceful and democratic means to achieve these goals”.
Reiterating their profound faith in the leadership of the party President Mehbooba Mufti, the leaders said the party will take a call on all major issues facing the State on her release from detention.
They said, this is time for every citizen of the State to put up a united democratic resistance to the attempts at destroying our culture and the inclusive societal framework.
The PDP on the occasion remembers and pays tributes to all those who have made sacrifices since 1931 till date to see an emancipated, self ruled and democratic J&K.
It is because of these sacrifices, which continues till date, that the powers that be failed to usurp our landscape and mindscape, the leaders said.
The leaders said that the August 5 was an attempt to erase the timeline from 1931 to 2019 without recognizing the history that saw people of J&K withstanding and surviving the worst historical episodes to end our distinct identity, traditions, culture and languages, irrespective of the religious backgrounds the rulers came from.
“J&K is at the cusp of making a choice that determines the future and safety of our future generations. All stakeholders needs to rise to the occasion and in unison demand the rightful, rather than being boxed in small time demands and short gains. History may not be kind if we fail to rise to the occasion,” the leaders said.
“J&K has been dragged to a crossroads, where the world powers see it nothing but a battleground and a tinderbox The PDP will however push for making J&K an abode of confluence of civilisations rather than confrontation of civilisations. The small beginning could be by opening up J&K to its neighbours to learn, trade and build healthy relationships. Any overreach of democracy and greater control over J&K could only scale up the heights of differences and borders. The PDP is for working together with neighbours and narrowing differences. J&K has the geographical advantage to become a platform of friendship, as it was prior to 1947, where borders existed but did not at the same time”.
The leaders said the Party believes that the road to peace and progress of South Asia runs through Kashmir.
“The Government of India needs to rethink its policy and follow the time-honored mechanism of dialogue and engagement with all stakeholders. Enforcing peace of the graveyard and calling it normalcy is an illusion that has failed to impress anybody. It is time that the people of State are treated with respect, rather than suspicion and hostility and the project to outnumber them in their own habitat through demographic change is stopped forthwith,” the leaders said.
The party also paid rich tributes to thousands of workers who stood by party and went through rigors jails all across country for standing by the party and carrying forward the vision of Mufti Sayeed.