Gupkar Alliance, which includes mainstream political parties of Jammu and Kashmir, has accepted the invitation of the all-party meeting called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 24.
This is the first high-level interaction between the Centre and political leadership mainly from Kashmir since August 5, 2019 when the Centre revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and the state was bifurcated into two union territories.
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief ministers Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Mehbooba Mufti are among those invited for the meeting.
Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla has reached out to 14 leaders including Congress’ Ghulam Nabi Azad, Tara Chand and G A Mir; National Conference’s Dr Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah; People’s Democratic Party’s Mehbooba Mufti, J-K Apni Party’s Altaf Bukhari; Bharatiya Janata Party’s Ravinder Raina, Nirmal Singh and Kavinder Gupta; Communist Party of India-Marxist’s M Y Tarigami, and National Panthers Party’s Prof Bheem Singh; Peoples Conference’s Sajad Gani Lone.
Home Minister Amit Shah, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor Manoj Sinha and Home Secretary would also attend the meeting.
It is learnt from reliable sources that no fixed agenda has been set for the meeting and a freewheeling discussion is expected on June 24.
However, delimitation, statehood and assembly elections are expected to remain key issues to be discussed at the all-party meeting,
Sources familiar with developments told ANI the move to reach out to political leadership in Jammu and Kashmir has sent a very positive message especially in the valley and it is expected to give momentum to the political process in a big way and talks can pave way for positive developments.
Jammu Kashmir witnessed District Development Council last year and also panchayat elections.
Home Minister Amit Shah had said in February this year in Lok Sabha that statehood will be restored to J-K at an appropriate time.
Sources indicate that the Centre would be willing to discuss all issues on the table including the statehood.
Although People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) has agreed to attend the meeting, its leaders especially PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti said that they will ask New Delhi to restore Article 370 and 35A.