PM Modi-J&K Leaders Meet LIVE Updates: The meeting of all Jammu and Kashmir parties with Prime Minister Narendra Modi is underway at 7, Lok Kalyan Marg. PDP’s Mehbooba Mufti, National Conference’s Farooq Abdullah, Congress’ Ghulam Nabi Azad, and other leaders of Jammu and Kashmir are present at the meet.
The Gupkar Alliance is likely to demand restoration of statehood before elections as well as release of all political prisoners in the meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at 3pm today. Fourteen leaders from regional powerhouses such as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the National Conference (NC), as well as those from the Centre’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress, among others, have been invited for the talks. While most of the 14 leaders arrived in Delhi by Wednesday evening, Farooq Abdullah reached the national capital today. He is slated to hold talks with his son and NC leader Omar Abdullah before the 3pm gathering.
After abrogation of Article 370, several political leaders and activists were placed under detention. Over a period of time, Mufti, two other former chief ministers — Omar and Farooq Abdullah — and several others were released. In this backdrop, the meeting could act as an exercise to overcome trust issues. This is also the first meeting between PM Modi and the J&K parties after the region’s special status was revoked. Mehbooba also said the Centre should hold dialogue with everyone, including Pakistan, to resolve the Kashmir issue.
Many reports say the meeting may focus on the delimitation exercise to redraw the boundaries of assembly constituencies in J&K ahead of assembly elections.
The real issue, though, goes deeper than who will hold power in Kashmir, and on what terms. Leading up to the implosion of Kashmir’s state government in 2018, and imposition of central government rule, pro-India political parties like the National Conference and People’s Democratic Party became increasingly discredited. New Delhi’s efforts to engineer the emergence of a new political leadership since 2018 have had little success, either.
The leaders of the Gupkar alliance, a group of seven parties led by Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, say they will forcefully raise the issue of Article 370 with PM Modi and they have “no red lines” for any discussion during the meeting. “The meeting was called by the Prime Minister. We see it a positive development. There are no riders. No one has been asked not to talk about restoration of J&K’s special status,” said a senior leader.
The all-party meeting is taking place alongside reports that National Security Adviser Ajit Doval met with his Pakistan counterpart in a third country.
Today’s meeting is the second major peace initiative in J&K after the announcement of ceasefire between India and Pakistan on February 25.