All Eyes On PAGD Meeting Today

File photo of PAGD meeting

Izhar Nazir Ali

Srinagar: The People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), an amalgam of five mainstream parties will hold a meeting on Tuesday to take a call on government of India’s dialogue offer.

According to insiders, the five party conglomerate, including National Conference (NC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Communist Party of India- Marxist (CPI-M), Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Movement (JKPM) and Jammu and Kashmir Awami National Conference (JKANC) will meet tomorrow morning at the Gupkar residence of PAGD President Dr Farooq Abdullah to discuss New Delhi’s invitation for talks.

“The meeting is scheduled to take place at 11 am tomorrow. We have sent out invitation to all the constituents,” PAGD spokesperson, Muhammad Yousuf Tarigami told Kashmir Observer Monday

“The only agenda of tomorrow’s meet is not whether we should go ahead with talks or not but besides that we will exchange our views. The purpose of the meeting, the approach which we should adopt will be discussed tomorrow,” he added.

To a question that BJP is also holding a meet to discuss counter strategy of PAGD, Tarigami said that the ruling party has already done what they wanted to do.

“What else is there for them to do now,” he said.

When asked if the PAGD will go with a single-point agenda to attend the PM convened meet, Tarigami ducked the questions saying “please let’s discuss it tomorrow,”

It is pertinent to mention here that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has invited as many as 14 leaders from J&K, including four former chief ministers of the erstwhile state for a meeting in New Delhi scheduled to be held on June 24. Among those invited are former Chief Ministers– Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar Abdullah, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti.

Meanwhile, a senior mainstream leader told Kashmir Observer that the meeting has been convened to decide whether the parties will go individually to the PM’s meet or nominate leaders as a united face of PAGD.

“Tomorrow’s meeting will decide who will go to New Delhi and what will be the agenda in the upcoming meet with PM. Will we raise a united voice, or will we go in individual capacities,” the senior leader, wishing not to be named said.

He also ruled out that the PM convened meeting had anything to do with the delimitation exercise.

“Delimitation is certainly not the agenda. It’s not in the ambit of PM but the Election Commission. Most probably, the PM’s meeting is more about the restoration of statehood,” he said.

When asked if the mainstream camp will settle down if the statehood is returned, the senior leader said that before doing so, a conscious decision has to be arrived keeping in view the reaction of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, especially in the backdrop of special status revocation.

“See, we are fighting a legal battle in court against the unlawful abrogation of J&K’s special status. That case is going on. Apart from that, we need to have a state assembly to protect our land and jobs. And for that, statehood is imperative,” he said, while hinting that statehood for now, was the best bet for the mainstream camp.

The PAGD meeting comes two days after PDP authorised party President Mehbooba Mufti to take a call on attending All-Party Meeting in New Delhi to be chaired by PM Modi.

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