PDP meeting underway to discuss Centre’s invitation for talks


Srinagar:A crucial meet of the PDP’s political affairs committee (PAC) – the highest decision-making body of the party – is underway here on Sunday to discuss the invitation of the Centre to regional political parties of Jammu and Kashmir for talks.

The meet began at 11 am at PDP president Mehbooba Mufti’s ‘Fairview’ residence at Gupkar.

The PAC, headed by Mehbooba, includes party leaders Abdul Rehman Veeri, Mohammad Sartaj Madni, Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura, Mehboob Beg, Naeem Akhtar, Surinder Choudhary, Yashpal Sharma, Master Tassaduq Hussain, Sofi Abdul Gaffar, Nizam-ud-Din Bhat, Aasiya Naqash, Firdous Ahmad Tak, Mohammad Khursheed Alam and Muhammad Yusuf Bhat.

Madni was released from a six-month-long preventive detention on Saturday, hours after Mehbooba received the invitation, over phone, for the meeting.

While Veeri and PDP chief spokesperson Syed Suhail Bukhari were present physically in the meeting at Gupkar, other leaders joined the deliberations virtually, a party leader said.

He said the PAC meeting will take a final call on the party’s participation in the meeting called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on June 24.

The prime minister’s meeting with all political parties from Jammu and Kashmir is part of the Centre’s initiatives to bolster political processes, including holding assembly elections, in the Union Territory.

Invitations were sent out to 14 political leaders from Jammu and Kashmir, including four former chief ministers, for participation in a high-level meeting to be chaired by the prime minister, which is expected to set the road map for holding assembly elections in the Union Territory.

These leaders of eight political parties — the National Conference (NC), PDP, BJP, Congress, Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party, CPI(M), People’s Conference, and the Jammu & Kashmir National Panthers Party — were telephonically invited by Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla for participation in the meeting to be held at the prime minister’s residence at 3 pm on Thursday.

This will be the prime minister’s first interaction with all the political parties of Jammu and Kashmir since August 5, 2019 when the Centre abrogated the state’s special status and bifurcated it into Union Territories. The erstwhile state has been under the Centre’s rule since November 2018. PTI

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