New Delhi: The most crucial meet on Jammu and Kashmir concluded at the residence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday with the leaders saying that the Central government assured all possible help for the future and betterment of the Union Territory. In the Centre’s first outreach to Jammu and Kashmir’s political leadership in almost two years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday held a crucial meeting with 14 leaders, including four former chief ministers, to chalk out the future course of action in the union territory.
The four former chief ministers of the erstwhile state who participated in the discussions were Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar Abdullah of the National Conference, Congress’ Ghulam Nabi Azad and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti.
Giving further details on the outcome of the meeting, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said that the leaders kept 5 demands in the meeting such as granting statehood, conducting Assembly elections to restore democracy, rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits in J&K, release of all political detainees and domicile rules.
“The Home Minister said that the government is committed to granting statehood to Jammu and Kashmir. All leaders demanded full-fledged statehood,” Ghulam Nabi Azad said.
People’s Conference leader Sajjad Lone said that the meeting was held in a very cordial manner. “We came out quite positive that hopefully there will be some delivery for the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
J&K Apni Party’s Altaf Bukhari said that the talks were held in a good atmosphere today and Prime Minister heard issues of all leaders and said that election process will begin when delimitation process finishes. “The PM asked all to participate in the delimitation process. We have been assured that this is the roadmap towards elections. The PM also said that we are committed to the restoration of statehood,” Altaf Bukhari added.
Kavinder Gupta of the BJP said that all political parties presented their opinions. “I think that in the time to come, political process is going to begin. Election will also be held after the delimitation process. Assembly will be constituted there once again,” he said.
Muzaffar Hussain Baig said that all leaders demanded statehood. “To which PM said, the delimitation process should conclude first and then other issues will be addressed. It was a satisfactory meeting. There was complete unanimity for restoring peace in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
PM Modi, accompanied by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha, received the leaders from eight parties, including the National Conference, the PDP, the BJP and the Congress, at his residence.
This is the first interaction between the Central leadership and the mainstream parties since August 5, 2019, when the Centre revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 and bifurcated it into two union territories, Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
CPI-M leader Mohammed Yusuf Tarigami, Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party (JKAP) chief Altaf Bukhari, Sajjad Lone of the People’s Conference, J-K Congress head G A Mir, BJP’s Ravinder Raina and Panthers Party leader Bhim Singh also formed part of the delegation.