Prime Minister Narendra Modi will likely call an all-party meeting on Jammu and Kashmir next week to discuss restoration of statehood and other important issues concerning the union territory, in his first major outreach to end the political impasse that began with the revocation 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 NDTV.
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.
Ahead of the reported meeting, Home Minister Amit Shah today met National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and top security and intelligence officers.
In August 2019, the centre had scrapped Article 370 that gave a special status to the former state. It had also bifurcated the state into two union territories – Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
All top leaders in Jammu and Kashmir – including Mehbooba Mufti, Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah – had been arrested before the centre announced the mega decisions in parliament. They were released months later.
NDTV 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 the assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir. The polls have been pending since 2018, when Mehbooba Mufti had snapped ties with her coalition partner, the BJP.
The Gupkar Alliance or PAGD, the seven-party amalgam formed to help restore the special status of Jammu and Kashmir — has indicated its willingness to join the talks.
The centre had held local bodies’ elections in Jammu and Kashmir in December in which the Gupkar Alliance won more than 100 seats and the BJP emerged as the single largest party with 74 seats.
The development comes months after India and Pakistan announced a ceasefire along the Line of Control, the first major peace initiative since 2019.