Srinagar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has likely called an all-party meeting on Jammu and Kashmir next week, sources say amid reports that the Centre may discuss restoration of statehood and other important issues concerning the union territory. This is the PM’s first major outreach to end the political impasse over the scrapping of Article 370 in 2019.
“We have been intimated about a meeting next week. We are waiting for a formal invitation,” a senior Jammu and Kashmir leader told.
Sources say the meeting can take place any day next week. “May be on June 24. We are expecting an invite for the meeting,” a leader said.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday met National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and top security and intelligence officers.
In August 2019, the centre cancelled Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir and also bifurcated the state into two union territories – Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
Top leaders in Jammu and Kashmir – including former Chief Ministers Mehbooba Mufti, Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah – were arrested just before the Centre announced the mega decisions in parliament. They were released months later.
A television news channel had last week reported that the centre was likely to initiate the political process that has been virtually non-existent since 2019.
The centre is also expected to discuss assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir, due since 2018, when then Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti snapped ties with her coalition partner BJP.
The Gupkar Alliance or PAGD, the seven-party amalgam formed to campaign for the restoration of special status to Jammu and Kashmir — has indicated its willingness to join the talks.
The centre had held local body elections in Jammu and Kashmir in December; the Gupkar Alliance won more than 100 seats and the BJP emerged as the single largest party with 74 seats.
The latest development comes months after India and Pakistan announced a ceasefire along the Line of Control, the first major peace initiative since 2019.