Senior National Conference (NC) leader Mustafa Kamal has said the NC will not take part in the political process until the restoration of Article 370 and statehood to Jammu & Kashmir.
In an exclusive interview with IANS, Kamal, the brother of detained former Chief Minister and NC chief Farooq Abdullah, said the National conference will not be a part of any political process that does not serve the interests of the people of J&K.
"They demolished the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. We ca not take part in any political process in this system," he said. "New Delhi will like to manipulate us for changing the demography of Jammu & Kashmir and enslave the people."
He said those clamouring for the extension of Article 371 to Jammu & Kashmir are free to do so but the National Conference won't budge from its stated position.
"We do not want Article 371, those who want it, let them take it," Kamal said. "They are talking about a third front, let them go with it, National Conference will not change its position."
Kamal said Article 370 was scrapped to end the Muslim-majority character of Jammu & Kashmir and to pave the way for "demographic change".
He said his party is preparing the ground for moving a motion against the Centre's "unilateral decision" and is hopeful the Supreme Court will declare the move on Article 370 as unconstitutional.
"We have faith in (the) Supreme Court," the NC leader said. "It is a fact that Article 370 was revoked without taking the approval of the J&K Assembly."
He said they were taken aback by the removal of Article 370 because both the Governor and the Prime Minister had denied that the article was being revoked.
"Our leaders met with (then) Governor Satya Pal Malik and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and both denied the Article was being revoked," he said.
He said international pressure is mounting on India over Kashmir and the present situation cannot continue forever.
He said the National Conference will keep on pressing for an agreement between India and Pakistan for a resolution of Kashmir.
He said he is in touch with Farooq Abdullah and said he will not make any "compromise".
"Farooq Abdullah has always stuck to his principles, why would he change his stand now?" Kamal said.
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.
Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.
We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.
Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.