Kashmiri leaders denounce Modi’s all-parties conference

National Conference President Farooq Abdullah, PDP Chief Mehbooba Mufti and other members of the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration address the media in Srinagar. -Press Trust of India
National Conference President Farooq Abdullah, PDP Chief Mehbooba Mufti and other members of the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration address the media in Srinagar. -Press Trust of India

As Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets Kashmiri politicians in Delhi for talks, popular Kashmiri leaders in IoK have denounced the move as a drama by the Indian government and state. 

In a video message recorded before the meeting, Kashmiri activist Mushaal Hussein Mullick referred to Modi’s meeting as a “theatre and drama”.

She said the Indian prime minister and his government had “made every Kashmiri stateless, without an identity and snatching their flag and statehood”.

Mullick said Modi expected the world to believe there is normalcy and democracy “on the graveyard of innocent Kashmiris, when every Kashmiri is being silenced and is being forced to evacuate”.

She said those who represented the people of occupied Kashmir were being locked up, beaten up, harassed and sent to death cells.

“Bravo to Mr Modi for believing the world to be so foolish, or expecting it to be deaf and dumb or, with eyes wide shut that they can’t see what you’ve done to us?” she asked.

Hurriyat representative Altaf Hussain Wani also rejected the conference, saying that holding talks with “so-called politicians” and giving the impression that the situation in IoK is returning to normalcy, is wrong.

“The Indian government has always betrayed the people of Kashmir,” he said, adding that there was no other option for the people of Kashmir but for them to be given the right to self-determination.

Modi to meet 14 Kashmiri leaders in Delhi today

As per news reports, Modi is set to meet 14 pro-India Kashmiri leaders today, four among them former chief ministers of occupied Kashmir.

Prominent leaders who have been invited to the conference include Farooq Abdullah, his son Omar Abdullah, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and Mehbooba Mufti.

The Modi government, however, has not invited the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) for the conclave.

This would be first political engagement between the Kashmiri leadership and the BJP government in the Centre since New Dehli scrapped Article 370 of its Constitution in August 2019 – a move strongly opposed by the people and Pakistan and China. 

Modi should speak to Pakistan too, says Mehbooba Mufti

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader Mufti urged the Indian prime minister, before the meeting, to talk to Pakistan too on the Kashmir issue.

She said there was no reason for India not to talk to Pakistan when countries can have a dialogue with others.

“If they can go to Doha and talk to the Taliban, they should have a dialogue with us and with Pakistan too in order to bring about a resolution,” she said.

She spoke about her agenda for the Modi meeting. Mufti said that the leaders will put forth their views and press for demand to restore Jammu and Kashmir’s statehood.

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