While NC president and Srinagar MP Farooq Abdullah denied that the alliance was reacting to the possibility of a “big development”, the Valley was agog with talk of how the arrival of 200 companies of paramilitary forces was a signal of something brewing in Kashmir. “We have not been asked or informed about anything so far regarding the ongoing speculation (that J&K might be bifurcated again),” Farooq said.
The administration, too, rushed to scotch rumours circulating on social media, saying there was no question of “any such misadventure”. Sources said the return of paramilitary forces to the Valley was a routine exercise since several companies had been moved out ahead of assembly elections in four states and one UT.
PAGD’s Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami said the conglomerate’s primary goal of “working for the well-being of the people of Kashmir” would remain unchanged, whatever the circumstances. The alliance had been formed to fight for restoration of J&K’s special status prior to the nullification of Article 370 of the Constitution in August 2019.
Tarigami, who is from the CPM, was officially named spokesperson for the PAGD on Wednesday, replacing J&K People’s Conference chief Sajad Lone, who quit the alliance last year. NC’s Anantnag MP Hassnain Masoodi, Javid Mustafa Mir, Muzaffar Ahmad Shah and Mehboob Beg of PDP, besides Farooq and Mufti, attended the meeting.