PM’s high-level meet with J-K leaders concludes

The high-profile all-party meeting called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with political leaders from Jammu and Kashmir concluded at Prime Minister’s official residence in New Delhi on Thursday evening.

IMAGE: Prime Minister Narendra Modi during an all-party meeting with various political leaders from Jammu and Kashmir, in Delhi, on Thursday. Photograph: PTI Photo

The meeting began at around 3 pm and was attended by 14 prominent leaders from the Union Territory.

This was the first high-level interaction between the Centre and political leadership mainly from Kashmir since August 5, 2019, when the Centre revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and the state was bifurcated into two Union Territories.

Among the leaders who are participated in the meeting were Congress’ Ghulam Nabi Azad, Tara Chand and G A Mir; National Conference’s Dr Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah; People’s Democratic Party’s Mehbooba Mufti, J-K Apni Party’s Altaf Bukhari; Bharatiya Janata Party’s Ravinder Raina, Nirmal Singh, and Kavinder Gupta; Communist Party of India-Marxist’s M Y Tarigami; National Panthers Party’s Prof Bheem Singh; and Peoples’ Conference’s Sajad Gani Lone.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and the Union home secretary also attended the meeting.

Ahead of the meeting earlier in the day, Farooq Abdullah 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.”

Although the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) agreed to attend the meeting, its leaders especially the PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti said that they will ask New Delhi to restore Article 370 and 35A.

Earlier on Wednesday, Apni Party chief Syed Altaf Bukhari, welcoming the all-party meet, had said: “I look at it as a positive development. The prime minister had started a process on March 14, 2020, when a delegation of the Apni Party met him and now he has called an all-party meeting. It is a welcome step.”

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