The six-party confederation of the Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration has began the crucial meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to chalk out the future political course of action in Jammu and Kashmir, on Thursday.
Peoples Democratic Party's Mehbooba Mufti, National Conference's Farooq Abdullah, Congress' Ghulam Nabi Azad, and other leaders of Jammu and Kashmir are present at the meet, in which Union Home Minister Amit Shah and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval are in attendance.
The meeting is the first between the Centre and mainstream Jammu and Kashmir politicians after the abrogation of Article 370 and the division of the erstwhile state into two union territories in August 2019. With no agenda announced for the meeting, the leaders from Jammu and Kashmir said they have come with an open mind.
"I am going to the meeting. I will keep the demands there and then I will talk to you. Mehbooba Mufti is the president of her party, why should I speak on what she said," Farooq Abdullah said before the meeting started, while Mehbooba had said earlier, "If India can talk to the Taliban in Doha (Qatar), why not Pakistan."
"We have not been given an agenda. We will be attending the meeting to know what the Centre is offering,” said CPI(M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami said.
Congress leaders from Jammu and Kashmir met at senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad's residence ahead of the meeting with PM Modi. The BJP leaders from Jammu and Kashmir too went into a huddle before the meeting with the prime minister.
The Gupkar alliance, chaired by National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah, is expected to put forward four main issues on the discussion table—demand for immediate restoration of statehood for Jammu and Kashmir, demand for postponement of the delimitation exercise, need to hold assembly elections, and the release of all political prisoners.
—With PTI inputs