Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti has arrived in Delhi to participate in the all-party meeting called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday.
CNN-News18 had earlier reported that Modi will discuss restoring Jammu and Kashmir (J&K)’s statehood when he meets mainstream political parties from the region on Thursday — a significant milestone that India’s top leadership has set its eyes on after months of strategising by National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval, according to official sources.
The sources, who are privy to the developments, had said that J&K will be granted statehood soon, as promised in the past by PM Modi and home minister Amit Shah, but there will be no talks on restoring the region’s special status.
On August 5, 2019, the central government withdrew J&K’s special status under the Article 370 and bifurcated the erstwhile state into two Union Territories — J&K with a legislative assembly and Ladakh without one.
The historic move led to the imposition of restrictions on several political leaders and activists in the Kashmir Valley. Gradually, authorities lifted the curbs and released politicians under detention.
Will Press for Restoring Special Status: Mehbooba
Ahead of PM Modi’s all-party meet, Mufti on Tuesday said peace in the region cannot be restored without undoing the “illegal” and “unconstitutional” act of revocation of the special status of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Speaking to reporters at the end of a huddle of the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), she said during the meeting with the prime minister on Thursday, she will press for the restoration of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir which was “snatched away from us”.
“The agenda of the alliance, for which this alliance has been formed, what has been snatched away from us, we will talk on that, that it was a mistake and it was illegal and unconstitutional, without restoring which the issue of J-K (cannot be resolved) and the situation in J-K (cannot improve) and peace in the whole region cannot be restored,” she had said.
Mehbooba, who was flanked by other leaders of the alliance including its chairperson Farooq Abdullah, said the Centre should hold dialogue with everyone including Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir issue.
“They (India) are talking to the Taliban in Doha. They should talk with everyone in Jammu and Kashmir and with Pakistan as well for the resolution (of Kashmir issue),” she had said.
The PDP president had said her party was never against dialogue with the Centre, but wanted some confidence-building measures for the people of Jammu and Kashmir like release of prisoners as in other parts of the country due to COVID.