Jammu and Kashmir Politics

All PAGD leaders to attend the meeting with Prime Minister Modi on June 24, no going back on the agenda of restoration of statehood to Jammu and Kashmir, says Farooq Abdullah

Published : June 22, 2021 16:48 IST

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti (second from left), N.C. president Farooq Abdullah (third from left) and CPI(M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami (third from right) and other leaders of the PAGD during a press conference after the PAGD meeting on June 22. Photo: Mukhtar Khan/AP

The People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) formally announced today that they will participate in the meeting convened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 24.

 

The People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) formally announced today that they will participate in the meeting convened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 24. PAGD president Farooq Abdullah told mediapersons that a decision to this effect was taken in a PAGD meeting held today in Srinagar.

There had been speculation that People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti was not inclined to attend the meeting and instead wanted Farooq Abdullah alone to represent the PAGD in New Delhi. But Farooq Abdullah clarified today that all leaders who have been invited will turn up for the meeting.

“All those invited for the all party meeting with the Prime Minister will attend,” Abdullah told reporters after chairing a meeting of PAGD at his residence.

Farooq Abdullah, who is also the president of the National Conference (N.C.), said that there was no alteration in the agenda of the PAGD, which is to fight for the restoration of Kashmir’s special status. He said its agenda will be conveyed to the Prime Minister during the meeting.

“Our stand is clear and all of you know what our stand is. Since New Delhi has invited the leaders individually, we have decided that all those invited will attend the meeting and put forth their points on Jammu and Kashmir,” said Abdullah. He added that the PAGD leaders will press for the release of political detainees during the meeting.

Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami, Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader and spokesperson for PAGD, said: “We will put forth the aspirations of the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh in the meeting. Whatever is possible within the Indian Constitution is what we are going to seek.”

PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti said that earlier there was a suggestion that only Dr Farooq Abdullah would represent the PAGD in the June 24 meeting, but later there was a consensus that all those who have been invited will go.

“We are not against dialogue. My late father Mufti Muhammad Sayeed has always advocated dialogue for resolution of issues. I believe New Delhi should have released all political prisoners for creating an atmosphere for talks but it didn’t,” she said. “Now we will demand the release of political prisoners as there are many who are ill in jails. We will also seek the immediate shifting of prisoners back to Jammu and Kashmir jails from various Indian prisons.”Earlier, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla invited the leaders of eight political parties—the N.C., the PDP, the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Congress, the Apni Party, the CPI(M), the People’s Conference and the Panthers Party—for the meeting to be held at the Prime Minister’s residence in Delhi. There is speculation that the Centre may concede to the demand for the restoration of statehood for Jammu and Kashmir to bolster the political process.

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