Kashmir Parties Get Talks Invite From Delhi

KO File Photo By Abid Bhat

Muhammad Raafi

Srinagar: Government of India has invited the Kashmir based mainstream political parties for a meeting scheduled to be held later this month, sources said on Friday.

The local parties have received a communication from the government of India about the meeting that is to be held on June 24 in New Delhi, these sources said.

Former Chief Minister and People’s Democratic Party President Mehbooba Mufti received a call from Delhi on Thursday about a meeting on June 24. She later told Kashmir Observer that she has not taken a decision about participating in the meeting yet.

“I will discuss it with my party colleagues and then take a decision about the future course of action,” she said.

Meanwhile, a senior PDP leader said that the party will not budge from its stand on Article 370. “Our stand about the special status is as clear as it was on August 4, 2019,” he said.

Although a National Conference spokesperson said that he is not aware of the development, the party’s working president Omar Abdullah is in New Delhi for the last one week.

The meeting also comes at a time when the J&K LG Manoj Sinha held two meetings with the Union Home Minister in the last 10 days.

A spokesperson of Apni Party said that the party has received a communication from Delhi and the party will hold an inter-party meeting on Monday to decide about the course of action.

Sources in New Delhi told Kashmir Observer that the meeting would revolve around the delimitation of assembly seats in the erstwhile state and the elections.

The sources said that Delhi has charted out a delimitation for the assembly seats of the erstwhile state. They said that seven more seats have been carved out in Jammu and the seats now stand at 44 from 37; while five more seats have been carved out in Kashmir taking the seats to 49 from 44.

Interestingly the scheduled meeting comes days after Chairperson of the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD), Dr Farooq Abdullah said that no doors are closed for talks with the Centre.

“If they invite us, then we will decide at the time,” Abdullah said after alliance constituents NC, PDP, CPI(M) and Awami National Conference met in Srinagar on June 10.

In response to a question on whether the group would consider talking to the Centre with regard to the situation in J&K, Abdullah said, “We have not closed any doors or options.” He said the “police are increasing pressure here” and “I would appeal to the LG to stop these detentions or people will become so against them that they will not be able to handle it”.

The PAGD has had no formal interactions with the Centre barring a letter from Mehbooba Mufti to PM Narendra Modi in May seeking the release of all political prisoners in J&K. This after Tehreek-e-Hurriyat chief Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai passed away in a Jammu hospital in the course of his detention.

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