PM Modi’s all-party meeting on J&K begins, Kashmir on high alert

Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s high-profile all-party meeting in New Delhi with politicians from Kashmir today has ended. The meeting was held for the first time since the Centre stripped the region’s semi-autonomy while jailing many of them in a crackdown.

Ahead of the meeting at PM Modi’s official residence on Lok Kalyan Marg, New Delhi, with Kashmiri political leaders, security forces in Kashmir are on high alert.

Security forces have reportedly been deployed at all exit points in the division. Every vehicle coming into and going out of the division is being thoroughly checked.

Among those invited are Kashmir’s former three top elected leaders — Farooq Abdullah, his son Omar Abdullah, and Mehbooba Mufti, who was a regional coalition partner of PM Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party for nearly two years after the 2016 state polls.

The three and few other invited leaders were among thousands arrested and held for months in 2019. They have criticised India’s policies in Kashmir and formed an alliance with four other parties to fight them, calling them “spitefully shortsighted and unconstitutional.”

As many as 14 prominent leaders from the Union Territory are attending the meeting.

BJP J&K leaders, Shah at Modi’s residence for all-party meet

Senior BJP leader and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, party’s J&K leaders, including Ravinder Raina and Nirmal Singh, PDP’s Mehbooba Mufti, National Conference’s Farooq Abdullah, Congress’ Ghulam Nabi Azad, Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor Manoj Sinha and other leaders of J&K are present at the meeting.

National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and BJP leader Jitendra Singh are also present at the meeting.

As per reports, BJP’s Jitendra Singh will deliver a brief welcome address. PM Modi will then make the opening speech, which will be followed by Farooq Abdullah’s opening remarks.

Key issues for discussion at the meeting

Delimitation, statehood, and assembly elections are expected to remain key issues for discussion at the meeting.

Ahead of the meeting, Farooq Abdullah, on Thursday, said, “I am going to the meeting. I will keep the demands there and then I will talk to you.”

When asked about Mehbooba Mufti’s comment about discussing the restoration of Article 370 and 35 A in the UT during the meeting, Abdullah said, “Mufti is the president of her party, why should I speak on what she said.”

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