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‘Kashmir lost its identity after special status abrogation’: Azad pitches for statehood

Remarking that the people of Jammu and Kashmir have lost their identity due to the abrogation of special autonomous status, former chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on Saturday said the statehood was an unequivocal demand of all the residents.

Addressing a gathering at ‘Shanti Sammelan’ in Jammu, the Congress leader said “the fight for the rights of the people will continue”.

He said that the leaders from across the globe and people know Kashmir by its name, but unfortunately, Kashmir lost its identity recently when the state was bifurcated. “There is not even a single citizen across Jammu, Kashmir, and Kargil, who doesn’t want the restoration of statehood. All the political parties also want statehood to be restored. “If any leader has the guts to speak contrary to it, let them come up with a statement in this regard,” Azad, who hails from Bhaderwah in Jammu division, said.

He added that the Congress will continue its “struggle for the restoration of statehood in and outside the Indian parliament”.

Besides, he said that two more things need to be done for the people of J&K which include land rights and jobs. “No outsider from other states should be allowed to buy land here while the government jobs should be kept for the people of J&K only,” the former leader of Opposition in India’s upper house of the Parliament said.

Without naming Pakistan, Azad stated that the political leaders or parties continue to fight over unemployment, diseases, and other things. “But, in J&K, the fight against the enemies is an addition as they are very much active on the borders. The situation along the borders continues to remain the same as it was in 1947. We have a responsibility to remain united and fight against the enemy in unison. We can’t fight the enemy without staying intact,” he said.

His remarks come days after India and Pakistan issued a joint statement to strictly observe all agreements on a ceasefire along the LoC and other sectors after the hotline discussions by their Director Generals of Military Operations.

Azad further said that the degree holders in Jammu and Kashmir are awaiting jobs while the unemployment rate is swelling with each passing day. “There is nobody who talks about unemployment and I didn’t see anyone getting a job in the recent past,” he said.

He further said until and unless there won’t be elected representatives in J&K, the situation of unemployment, education, and other worsening sectors will continue to remain the same.

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