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Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], August 29 (ANI): Haji Farooq Ahmad Mir, the Vice-chairman of District Development Council (DDC), Kupwara and ex-Congress leader, joined the Jammu and Kashmir People's Conference on Sunday. Along with him, 150 of his workers also joined the party.
JKPC's Chairman Sajjad Gani Lone, during a press conference, welcomed Mir and his workers and said that he (Mir) has struggled a lot for the welfare of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and is therefore widely respected by the people in his area.
"It is with great pleasure that we welcome Haji Farooq along with 150 workers into the People's Conference family. This is a march towards change; new people are coming into the People's Conference. Unlike me, Mir has seen a lot of struggle as he has built his political career from the scratch and it was not handed over to him by his father. He has a lot of goodwill and is widely respected for the work he has done for his people," Lone said.
"A number of prominent political leaders are joining the 'Caravan of Change'. I am confident that our team will be able to navigate the people of Jammu and Kashmir through these difficult and challenging times," he added.
Lone said that the leaders can't afford to act in a manner that will hurt the interests of the people of the area. "Nothing started on August 5 and nothing ended on August 5. Safeguarding the interests of the people, especially that of our youth is the biggest leadership skill in the current times. It is a long game; the leadership will have to be patient if we want to achieve something for the people of Jammu and Kashmir," he said on the question about the challenges that his party will face.
Further, referring to the All-Party Meeting, Lone said that he did not have any disillusionment about the outcome of the meeting. "Disappointment after August 5 has galloped. I did not have any disillusionment about the All-Party Meeting. It was social interaction, political interaction and an exchange of ideas. I personally did not expect anything from the meeting. I just hope the Centre follows up on it with something concrete. It is imperative that there is no communication gap between the Centre and the people of Kashmir. Continued engagement is the need of the hour," he said.
Lone also got upset when asked how could he trust someone who left his older party to join JKPC and said, "The loyalty or disloyalty of a person cannot be questioned like that. Each has the right to choose for themself."
"When in 2012 people were leaving my party, then it was the media who had questioned JKPC's capabilities. Today, when there are such good leaders joining us, the media is questioning them. Nobody is a holy cow, especially not the politicians and the media. What one feels good about at the moment is done," he added.
Mir had won the recently contested DDC election in the Kupwara district with over 10,000 votes, the highest in Kashmir valley and won by a margin of more than 5000 votes, the second-highest margin victory in the Kashmir valley. (ANI)