After almost a year, the resolve of all major political parties in Jammu and Kashmir to reiterate the demand of the implementation of the Gupkar Declaration of 6th August 2019, has finally reflected the signs of dissent against the “unconstitutional” and “unilateral” abrogation of Articles 370 and 35 A. On 6th August 2019, the meeting, presided over by 82-year-old Dr. Farooq Abdullah, was attended by Mehbooba Mufti, president, JKPDP [Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party], Patron, PDP, Muzaffar Hussain Beg, Abdul Rehman Veeri, general secretary, PDP, Suhail Bukhari (PDP), Sajad Ghani Lone, chairman, JKPC [Jammu and Kashmir People’s Conference], Imran Reza Ansari, Abdul Ghani Vakeel, Taj Mohiudin, vice president, JKPCC [Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee], Omar Abdullah, vice president, JKNC, and Members of Parliament Justice Hassnain Masoodi, Mohamad Akbar Lone, provincial president, JKNC, Nasir Sogami, Ali Mohammad Sagar, JKNC, Muzaffar Shah, ANC [Awami National Conference], Uzair Ronga (PUF), M.Y. Tarigami, CPI(M) [Communist Party of India (Marxist)], and Shah Faesal, PUF [People’s United Front]. The representatives of the political parties resolved to remain together and stand united in their struggle for safeguarding the identity, autonomy, and special status of the State. However, even before they could have employed the decision of the Gupkar Declaration in their discussion with the centre, most of them were thrown in jails or were kept under preventive detention with the abrogation of Article 370. For a year, no political activity was seen in Jammu and Kashmir, except some membership drives by Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP), which acted as an invincible entity, because the governor run administration had imposed strict restrictions on any kind of political activity, despite the fact that India is a democratic country. Many political leaders, including former chief minister and president Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party (JKPDP) Mehbooba Mufti are still under detention, while some have been released after signing a bond of compliance with the government. Slowly and steadily, the political activities in Jammu and Kashmir, after more than a year, appeared to have resumed with the meeting of leaders of six major political parties in the erstwhile State at the residence of three times chief minister Dr. Farooq Abdullah at much secure and posh area of Gupkar, wherein all the members unanimously decided implementation of Gupkar Declaration, which was passed in 2019. The members also decided to launch a peaceful agitation opposing the nullification of Article 370 that provided special rights to the citizens of J&K. Though it is certain that the BJP ruled government at the Centre would never reverse its action that has received accolades from all over India and other countries. The leaders stated during the Gupkar Declaration “Let (PDP chief) Mehbooba ji be released, all of us will sit together and decide our way ahead, but let me assure you that our struggle will be peaceful. We don’t believe in stones and bullets. There is no room for stones and bullets. It will be a Gandhian way of struggle.”The Gupkar Declaration enlists three points (demands) only in 122 words as mentioned next. 1. That all the parties would be united in their resolve to protect and defend the identity, autonomy, and special status of J&K against all attacks and onslaughts whatsoever. 2. That modification, abrogation of Articles 35A, 370, unconstitutional delimitation or trifurcation of the State would be an aggression against the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. 3. That the parties participating in the meeting resolved to seek audience with the president and prime minister of India and the leaders of other political parties to apprise them of the current situation and make an appeal to them to safeguard the legitimate interests of the people of the State with regard to the guarantees given to the State by the Constitution of our country. The Gupkar Declaration has cleared its ideology of peace by mentioning that “We don’t believe in bullets and bullet and stone throwing politics”. They abjured violence of all forms, including pelting stones at the security forces. This is very significant as the Gupkar Declaration has separated itself from those fighting with arms. Therefore, the mainstream political parties again send a loud message that they do not subscribe to violence. There is hardly any response to the Gupkar group by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi or his Minister of Home Affairs Amit Shah, who holds the reins of two Union Territories-J&K and Ladakh. Farooq Abdullah blamed the Prime Minister for creation of a new chapter of peoples’ alienation in J&K. Every decision is taken at PM level. Only response to the Gupkar Declaration came from the J&K BJP president Ravinder Raina, who launched a scathing attack on the mainstream parties, especially the National Conference and the Congress for enacting the instrument of Gupkar Declaration to demand reversal of Abrogation of Article 370. While lashing out at its rival parties in the Union Territory, Rana charged that those who want to fight the nullification of Article 370 and demand for the restoration of special status to the erstwhile state are supporters of Pakistan. Though, political parties in Jammu and Kashmir, especially National Conference and Peoples Democratic Party are up in arms against BJP, but the fact of the matter is that these two parties have always supported BJP to spread its roots in Jammu and Kashmir. Not only did Mohammad Mufti become Chief Minister with the support of BJP in J&K, but after his death his daughter Mehbooba Mufti also became Chief Minister. The leaders of both the parties from J&K knew very well that issue of Abrogation of Article 370 was very close to RSS-BJP heart and they did it at the very first instant they got the requisite majority and surprisingly PDP did nothing to allay the fears of abrogation of Article 370, despite having this in the Agenda of Alliance, formulated by both the parties before wielding coalition. Now, if these parties think that BJP would surrender before them to reverse it, it would be a naïve idea. And BJP knows that abrogation of article 370 has garnered huge support to the right wing political outfit outside J&K. On the reiteration of the ‘Gupkar Declaration’, J&K Apani Party president Altaf Bukhari has said that it was not an overnight development, as these groups were grappling with confusion over the months, now somewhat they have “removed the ambiguity”. His party will not sell dreams to the people but would keep in mind ground realities and make pragmatic policies. Although J&K democratic parties have set apart their ideological differences to launch a struggle against abrogation of Article 370, still it does not show an encouraging future. The J&K administration proposes to go ahead with the delimitation of the assembly and parliamentary seats. Only last week, the election commission announced the formation of the Delimitation Commission (DC), which would start its exercise in the near future. It did not form DC during the past one year. Much against the expectation of the Centre, the situation in J&K has deteriorated further and now Kashmir has three different kinds of dissenting voices, those believing in violence and are on the path to wage war against India to set Kashmir free, those believing in peaceful means and have been contributing in strengthening Indian democracy in Jammu and Kashmir since last many decades and those who want to assimilate Kashmir into Pakistan by triggering anti-India and anti-government protests. Except for joint peaceful protests and agitation of mainstream political parties in J&K, there may not be much hope from separatists and militants, fighting for any cause. Therefore, people of J&K would continue to suffer politically, economically, and emotionally, with having little support or sympathy coming from any corner of the world including the Muslim world. However, it would be interesting to note how the Gupkar Declaration will influence the government at centre. The writer is a senior journalist and Indo-Pak peace activist. The writer is a senior journalist and Indo-Pak peace activist.