PAGD Is Just A Name: JKNC’s Mohammad Akbar Lone

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Says ‘we (NC) should take part in assembly elections only after statehood is restored’

Srinagar 15 July: Jammu & Kashmir National Conference senior Leader and Member Parliament, Mohammad Akbar Lone said that People Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) is just a name and has no specific work.

In an interview with news agency, Mohammad Akbar Lone said that when it comes to the removal of Article 370 (on August 5 2019), it was done by an agency.

“Now after the removal of Article 370, the apparent situation clearly depicts (everyone’s) deviation from our rules,” he said, “except NC, which stands firm to its origins.”

Regarding the impact of removal of Article 370 and detentions over the Regional Political Leaders’ reputation among the people and political scenario, Akbar Lone said, “As far as BJP is concerned, they will not want any other party be it NC, PDP, etc. to evolve. They will always try to lower the stature of the opposing parties which is not going to happen.”

He said that we wouldn’t allow anyone to dictate us what and how to do things.

Asked about the NC’s soft line approach towards the restoration of Article 370, especially at the recent All Party Meeting with Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, Lone said that there is no change in the stance of the party.

“Our stand is quite clear and there are no changes in it. Maybe you (people) fail to observe it which is our bad luck but our stand regarding Article 370 is quite clear,” he said.

Member Parliament told KNB that BJP taking away the statehood of Jammu and Kashmir was worth condemnation.

“As much as we condemn, it will not be enough,” he said, adding that NC as a party has performed all the possible formalities regarding it.

Responding to the difference in statements of political parties belonging to PAGD, Lone said that the appearance of PAGD will not be seen more from now on.

“Because there has not been any consensus (between the parties) yet and that also has a reason,” he said, adding that the purpose of PAGD stands as it was as well as every other issue such as Article 370.

Regarding PAGD sustaining in the political scenario of Jammu and Kashmir, Lone said that there has been a change of approach from PAGD and “it should be agreed to that the Alliance is not the same as before.”

“PAGD is just a name now, it does not have any specific work (Purpose),” NC leader said.

Talking about the people of Jammu and Kashmir being against family political rule, Lone said that there is no such thing as Abdullah rule (at NC) anymore.

“All that has been provided (developments) to Jammu and Kashmir so far has been the work of NC and this party is going to show it again by working for the people,” he said.

When asked his personal opinion about the role of Enforcement Directorate (ED) and National Investigation Agency (NIA), Akbar Lone said the big parties of India run both the agencies.

“Be it BJP or Congress, which so every party has come to power so far, has tried to run these agencies and has been going on,” he said, adding “Yes! the way these agencies are acting and oppressing (political party leaders), we condemn it.”

He said that all that these agencies are doing is not at all right.

When asked his personal opinion, whether NC would take part in elections if the statehood of J&K is not restored, Lone suggested, “We should take part in assembly elections only after statehood is restored.”

About PDP claiming that the government is targeting them only and asking their political leaders (ex-MLAs) to vacate from allotted quarters, Akbar Lone said that even their leaders were asked to vacate from their government quarters.

“If in any case, government quarters have not been allotted in a proper (legal) manner then these leaders should vacate them,” he added.

Sharing his personal view about the Jammu and Kashmir issue, the Member Parliament said that Pakistan, India as well as Kashmir are the stakeholders in this issue.

“All the three should hold talks about this issue,” he said, adding that J&K has always had a separate identity.

He also said that there are several other problems which need to be addressed but the basic issue of Jammu and Kashmir is the major one.

Moreover, when asked as a Member Parliament, what developments, especially in context of the Covid-19 situation, have taken place in north Kashmir, Akbar Lone said that the question should be asked to the people of the region.

“You should ask about the developments from the people and they will give you an answer to it,” he said, adding that major developments have taken place in north Kashmir.

About the MP fund and its utilisation in the three districts of north Kashmir, Lone said that he has used these funds in emergency services such as hospitals and other important services. “I have not put any of the (MP) funds for my personal use and utilised it in a very specific manner,” he said.

In the interview, Akbar Lone expressed that he has always disliked and gets disheartened due to the loss of life in Kashmir. “We want the people of Kashmir to have a life of peace and dignity,” he said. (KNB)

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