Gupkar Declaration II: What is it and what does the declaration say?
On August 22, 2020, the six political parties of Jammu and Kashmir signed a statement titled as ‘Gupkar Declaration II’ to collectively fight against the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir. The six political parties include-- The National Conference (NC), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Indian National Congress, the J&K Peoples Conference (PC), the Communist Party of India (Marxist)(CPI (M)) and the Awami National Conference (ANC).
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi hailed the Gupkar Declaration II citing that it is not an ordinary occurrence but an important development. To this, the former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Farooq Abdullah reverted, ‘Let me make it clear that we are not anyone's puppets, neither New Delhi's nor of anyone across the border. We are answerable to the people of Jammu and Kashmir and will work for them.’
Gupkar Declaration II
The joint statement reads, ‘We are committed to strive for the restoration of Articles 370 and 35A, the Constitution of J&K and the restoration of the State and any division of the State is unacceptable to us. We unanimously reiterate that there can be nothing about us without us.'
The statement further added, 'The series of measures undertaken on 5 August 2019 was grossly unconstitutional and in reality measures of disempowerment and a challenge to the basic identity of the people of J&K.’
The political parties jointly stated, 'We want to assure the people that all our political activities will be subservient to the sacred goal of reverting to the status of J&K as it existed on 4th August 2019.'
- The six parties have jointly stated the Centre’s decision to alter the special status of Jammu and Kashmir is ‘grossly unconstitutional’.
- The parties have unequivocally and unanimously reiterated that there can be nothing about us without us. This clearly means that the Centre has to take the people of Jammu and Kashmir in confidence before making any changes in the Constitution.
- The parties have stated that the abrogation of Article 370 and 35A is a measure to disempower the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
On August 4, 2019, first Gupkar declaration was signed before the abrogation of Article 370. The representatives of JKNC, JKPDP, JKPC, JKPCC, CPI (M), PUF, JKPM and Awami NC met at the Gupkar Residence of Farooq Abdullah to discuss the tensed situation triggered by the massive deployment of security forces and forced removal of tourists from the valley. The president of the National Conference stated that he will raise the Gupkar declaration in Parliament and this struggle will be Gandhian as they never believed in stones and bullets.