Srinagar: A day after former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah was released from the detention, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Saturday said that if the erstwhile state of  J&K has to progress then all other political leaders placed under detention must be released as well. He said that the political process must begin in Jammu and Kashmir. Also Read - Farooq Abdullah Meets Son Omar, Day After Release From Detention

Azad also slammed the Centre’s decision to declare the former state of Jammu and Kashmir as Union Territory, calling it “the insult to the people living there”. He opined that the Centre must revoke its decision, and declare J&K a state again. Also Read - Farooq Abdullah Released From Detention, Says 'Grateful to All Who Spoke For Our Freedom'

“If J&K has to progress then all political leaders under detention in Srinagar must be released. Political process must begin in Jammu & Kashmir. Elections must be conducted in J&K, following proper procedure,” the Congress leader said. Also Read - Former J&K CM Farooq Abdullah To Be Released After 7 Months in Detention

“The decision to declare the state of J&K as a Union Territory is an insult to the people of J&K. It must be revoked. J&K should be declared a state again,” he added.

Notably, Farooq Abdullah was on Friday finally released from detention, just hours after the Jammu and Kashmir administration issued orders to this effect. The former Chief Minister, who also heads the National Conference (NC), was under detention since August 5 last year, when the special status of the now-former state was revoked.

He was in detention under the draconian Public Safety Act (PSA), which was slapped against him last September.

Speaking to the media after being released, in what were his first public remarks in more than seven months, Farooq Abdullah had said, “Today I don’t have words. I am free today; now, I will be able to go to Delhi and attend the Parliament and speak for you all.”

Farooq’s son Omar Abdullah and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti were among several leaders from the Valley who were detained by the Centre, which it said was done to ensure that the law and order situation in the region doesn’t spiral out of control in the wake of its move revoking the special status. However, they are yet to be released.