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Gupkar alliance meets after six months, says ‘all options open’ in struggle to restore Article 370

In its first meeting in six months, the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration or PAGD on Wednesday said it has kept all its “options” open in the struggle for the restoration of special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

“We have not closed any options. We will discuss it as and when they (Centre) invite us (for talks), ” PAGD chairman Farooq Abdullah told reporters after the meeting at the residence of PDP president Mehbooba Mufti in Srinagar.

It was the first meeting of the alliance since December last year when it met to discuss the results of the District Development Council elections.

It was also the first meeting since the People’s Conference led by Sajad Lone, who was the spokesman of the amalgam, who quit the alliance earlier this year.

The PAGD, after Wednesday’s meeting, named veteran CPI(M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami as its spokesperson.

Asked about speculations about the further division of Jammu and Kashmir, Abdullah said the PAGD leaders were as much in the dark as the general public.

“We also heard about the rumours just like you do. We do not know but we are steadfast and believe that Allah will protect us,” the National Conference president said.

In response to a question, he said the political parties have challenged various steps taken by the Centre since August 5, 2019, and will continue to pursue the legal option.

Abdullah said the amalgam could not do much politically due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

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