Kashmir leaders agree to attend PM meet

Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], June 22 (ANI): Leaders of Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) on Tuesday announced to attend an all-party meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 24 but remained rigid on restoring Article 370 and 35A which gave special rights to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.

“Mehbooba Mufti, Mohmmad Yusuf Tarigami, and I will attend the all-party meeting called by PM. We hope to keep our agenda before Prime Minister and Home Minister,” National Conference president Farooq Abdullah told reporters here.

The alliance took the decision after its meeting at the residence of its chairperson Farooq Abdullah earlier today.

Several parties, including the National Conference, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Peoples Conference and CPI(M) and Muzaffar Shah’s Awami National Conference formed the PAGD. Farooq Abdullah was chosen as president of the alliance and Mehbooba Mufti as its vice-president. National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah on October 24 last year had said that the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration has been formed to ensure the rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh are restored.

Sharing the meeting’s agenda, Gupkar Alliance member, Muzaffar Shah said, “There can be no compromise on Article 370 and 35A.”Meanwhile, Ravinder Raina, Jammu and Kashmir BJP chief welcomed the decision of PAGD leaders to attend the meeting.

“We welcome that all political parties are taking part in the meeting. In J-K, due to Pakistan-sponsored terrorism, many innocent people have lost their lives. PM has called for all party meet it’s our responsibility to put forth the aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir before him,” he said.

“A meeting of all senior leaders of JK BJP has been called at its party office here today. The discussion will be held over various issues that will be taken up in the meet on June 24,” he added.

Earlier, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla has telephonically invited leaders of various political parties in Jammu and Kashmir to participate in a meeting to be held at Prime Minister’s residence on Thursday, officials said.

They said telephone calls were made to top leaders of various parties including former Chief Ministers Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti.

Home Minister Amit Shah along with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and top security officials had met in the national capital on Friday to discuss various issues regarding Jammu and Kashmir with Lt Governor Manoj Sinha and senior officials.

The June 24 meeting is the first such meet after the Centre, in August 2019, abrogated Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir and also bifurcated the erstwhile state into two union territories – Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act 2019 was notified by the government on August 9, 2019, paved the way for the creation of two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir, which will have a legislature and Ladakh, without it.

The Act provides that the number of seats in the legislative assembly of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir shall be increased from 107 to 114, and delimitation of the constituencies will be determined by the Election Commission. (ANI)


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