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We'll continue our struggle till J&K is united and special status restored: Omar Abdullah


SRINAGAR: In an attempt to reach out to the people of Kargil, who like in Kashmir are opposing the scrapping of Article 370 and bifurcation of J&K state, a Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Delegation (PAGD) delegation led by National Conference vice president and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah visited Drass. "We won’t retreat and will continue to struggle for the August 5, 2019 position," asserted Omar.

“All the decisions on divisions of the states in the country in the past were taken after taking people on board. The division of the states has taken place after the consent of the people,” Omar said while addressing a public meeting at Drass, the gateway of Ladakh.

In the first outreach to the people of Ladakh after the scrapping of Article 370 and bifurcation of J&K state last year, the PAGD delegation led by Omar and including leaders from the PDP and Awami National Conference is on a visit here to talk to the people of Kargil and Drass.

They will seek the people's opinions and views on scrapping of J&K’s special status and bifurcation of the state into two Union Territories (UTs) by the Centre on August 5 last year.

“When Punjab was divided into three states, local people supported it. When Bihar was divided into two states (Bihar and Jharkhand), people supported it. When MP was divided into two state (MP and Chattisgarh), people backed it and when AP was divided into two states and Telangana carved out of it, people supported it,” Omar said.

Referring to bifurcation of J&K state and creation of two UTs, he said, “It was for the first time that this type of decision was imposed on the people. It is not the decision of J&K Assembly or parliament. The J&K CM was not a signatory to it. These rights were illegally taken by the Governor, who without taking us on board agreed to division of our state and downgrading it to two UTs.”

“We are not ready to accept this decision,” he asserted.

On the formation of the PAGD, Omar said the parties have set aside their political differences and joined hands for a greater cause. “It is now our responsibility to forget the past and not focus on power, election etc. We have come on a single platform to ensure withdrawal of the black law of August 5, 2019 which divided J&K into two UTs and snatched our special status.”

The PAGD has been formed by seven parties who have vowed to fight for restoration of J&K’s special status, J&K flag and J&K constitution.

“Insha Allah (God willing) with your support, we will not retreat and continue our struggle till we achieve our goal,” said Omar amid thunderous applause from the people.

“We will knock all doors and do whatever and won’t sit till August 5, 2019 decision is revoked and Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh is united in a single entity and our special status restored,” he added.

The public meeting ended with a slogan, "Jammu, Kashmir, Kargil, Ladakh ek tha ek rahega (Jammu, Kashmir, Kargil, Ladakh was one and will remain one)".