SRINAGAR — The newly-appointed spokesman of People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami, on Sunday said that the conglomerate has never been against dialogue process but could not initiate it in the absence of any such offer from the Government of India.
He said that the decision taken by the Government of India on August 5, 2019, was taken without taking the political leaders and people of Jammu and Kashmir on board.
“There was no demand regarding the revocation of Article 370 and bifurcation of state from any group of people nor it was discussed here with the mainstream parties,” he said.
Criticising the demotion of the erstwhile J&K state into a union territory, Tarigami said that there have been examples wherein union territories have been demanding statehood, but downgrading the Jammu and Kashmir state to a union territory was neither a demand from Kashmir nor from Jammu.
He also said that the unionist parties of Jammu and Kashmir have never been against dialogue process. “If there will be any call from the Centre regarding dialogue, we will welcome it as we have been committed to dialogues.”
Saying that PAGD members are committed to dialogue, he said, “There was somehow delay in chairing PAGD meeting, but there were some issues especially the COVID-19 pandemic which took it somehow long to call for a meeting, but we are committed to the alliance agenda and there will be no compromise on it.”
He also said that the public outreach program has been paused due to the pandemic as there has been a protocol issued by the government to curb the virus.
“Once the pandemic will end, we will take all stakeholders on table to discuss the further strategy. We will resume public outreach programme once the pandemic is over,” he said. (KNS)