PDP authorises Mehbooba Mufti to take call on participation

The People’s Democratic Party has authorised president Mehbooba Mufti to take a final call on its participation in the upcoming all-party meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Thursday.

PDP chief spokesperson Suhail Bukhari said Mufti has received a formal invitation from the Centre for the June 24 meeting and the party’s political affairs committee discussed the contours of the communication threadbare.

“The members authorised Mehbooba Mufti to decide on PDP’s participation in the all-party meeting on June 24. Also, the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration has called a meeting on June 22, in which the decision on the participation of constituent parties would be finalised,” Bukhari said on Sunday.

The government of India has invited 14 politicians from eight political parties of the UT for the June 24 meeting. This will be the first interaction between Modi and the J&K parties since August 5, 2019.

The other political parties, including J&K Apni Party and J&K People’s Conference, who have been invited are also meeting in the coming days to decide on their participation in the meeting.

The PAGD — an amalgam of regional political parties formed in October 2020 to work for the restoration of J&K’s special status and statehood — meeting on Tuesday would chart the future course of engagement with New Delhi. The majority of the leaders invited for the meeting were detained around August 5, 2019, along with over 7,500 persons from across J&K, including Hurriyat leaders, lawyers, activists, traders and other civilians.

“Elections in J&K after the completion of the delimitation exercise would be discussed in the meeting… Besides, New Delhi might apprise politicians about the possible timeline for the restoration of statehood,” a senior politician and former J&K minister told ET.

Another senior politician from the UT said the journey of the regional parties from “corrupt Gupkar Gang” in 2019 to this invitation for a meeting with the PM is part of Delhi’s “new style and script of managing Kashmir”.

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