Srinagar: Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Saturday said that if Jammu and Kashmir has to progress, then all political leaders under detention in Srinagar must be released.
Azad, who spoke to media persons in the presence of National Conference (NC) leader Farooq Abdullah here, said: "If Jammu and Kashmir has to progress, then all political leaders under detention in Srinagar must be released."
"The political process must begin in Jammu and Kashmir. Elections must be conducted in Jammu and Kashmir, following proper procedure," said Azad, also the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha.
"It is a matter of great happiness for me. I met National Conference MP Farooq Abdullah after over seven months. He was detained for all these months. The reason for his detention is not yet known to me," he added.
Azad added that for three years no work has been conducted regarding any project or roads, resulting in unemployment in the State.
"Tourism, handicraft and other businesses like import and export have also been affected. Even in Jammu, transport, industries, small scale industries have been affected. The decision to declare the state of Jammu and Kashmir as a Union Territory is an insult to the people of Jammu and Kashmir. It must be revoked. Jammu and Kashmir should be declared a state again," he said.
Earlier today, Azad met Farooq Abdullah at his residence here.
The three-time former chief minister Farooq met his son Omar Abdullah earlier in the day, in the sub-jail in Srinagar where the latter has been under detention for a couple of months.
Farooq was released from detention on Friday after the Centre issued orders to revoke detention of NC chief, who was detained under the Public Safety Act following the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir. He was under house arrest for seven months.
Many mainstream leaders in Jammu and Kashmir including Farooq's son Omar and People's Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti have been also put under house arrest following the abrogation of Article 370 in August that granted special powers to the region.