‘No pre-conditions in PM’s all-party meet’

Srinagar, June 23 :The Government of India (GoI)  has set no pre-conditions for talks with the Kashmir based mainstream political leaders in the all-party meeting convened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on June 24, a senior functionary in the mainstream party told Rising Kashmir.

Most of the 14 leaders from J&K including its four ex-chief ministers invited for an all-party meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi have arrived at New Delhi by Wednesday evening. 

The Thursday’s meeting will be the first between the Centre and mainstream Jammu and Kashmir politicians after the abrogation of Article 370 and the divisions of the erstwhile state into two union territories in 2019.

Rising Kashmir has learnt that it was after the assurance from New Delhi that the meeting would be “open-ended” without any fixed agenda from the GoI, the J&K political leaders accepted the PM’s invitation for talks.

“All the political leaders were assured that they are free to talk about any issues they feel are important for Jammu and Kashmir. It will be an open-ended conversation without any fixed agenda from either side,” the senior functionary said.

Another senior political leader told Rising Kashmir that apart from developmental issues and release of political prisoners, the main emphasis from the political leaders would be to seek restoration of the constitutional guarantees that  Jammu and Kashmir enjoyed before August 4, 2019.

“Definitely restoration of Article 370 will be the main focus of all the political leaders that are travelling to New Delhi to meet the PM,” he said.   

Without spelling out the demand for restoration of Article 370, Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) had on Tuesday told media persons here that they would attend an all-party “without any fixed agenda”.

PAGD Chairman and National Conference (NC) President Dr Farooq Abdullah after concluding their meeting at Gupkar had also said that the  agenda of the PAGD  remains the same which they would put forth in the meeting with PM Modi.

“Our stand is clear and all of you know what our stand is. There is no fixed agenda for the meeting. We can talk about any and every issue in the meeting,” Abdullah had said after the conclusion of the PAGD meet in Srinagar on Tuesday. 

The Government of India (GoI) has invited all regional parties from Jammu and Kashmir for a meeting on June 24 in New Delhi.  The meeting is likely to be chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his official residence.

As many as 14 leaders from Jammu and Kashmir, including four former chief ministers – Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar Abdullah of the National Conference, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti – of the erstwhile state are among the invitees. 

Senior NC leader and Member of Parliament (MP) Justice (retd) Hasnain Masoodi said that given the  PAGD’s responsibility, “they are duty bound to be the voice for  the aspiration of people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh.”

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