In a significant development, the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) leaders today announced they have accepted the invitation of the Prime Minister for the June 4 meeting in New Delhi and they would be participating in the meeting. The three leaders of the PAGD, Farooq Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti, and Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami will attend the meeting. All these leaders have been invited to the meeting.
“The invitation has come from the Prime Minister and we are going to participate in the meeting. We are hopeful that we will present our stand before the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister,” Dr. Farooq Abdullah said after the PAGD meeting here. Flanked by Mehbooba Mufti, Tarigami, and other leaders of the PAGD, Dr. Farooq said, “After the meeting with the Prime Minister will be over in Delhi, we will be talking to the press about it, here and in Delhi also.” “We will be telling you what we said in the meeting and how they responded.” “There is no change in our stand and it will continue to remain the same. We have not changed our stand,” Dr. Farooq said. He said the invitation has come separately to all leaders and all be attending the meeting. “There is no agenda from their side and we can talk about any issue,” he said.
Tarigami said they will be taking the concerns and hopes of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh before the Prime Minister. “Since there is no agenda of the meeting and we will repeat the stance of the PAGD before the big leaders of the country. We are going with a petition from the people of Jammu and Kashmir. We will be stating that guarantees which were given to us by the constitution of India should be given back to us,” Tarigami said.
Mehbooba Mufti also reiterated that she was not against the dialogue. She said they wanted that the government should initiate some confidence-building measures before the talks. “In the whole country because of Covid-19 detainees were released but this didn’t happen in case of Jammu and Kashmir. If they wanted to reach out to the people of Jammu and Kashmir whom they humiliated so much in the past two years, we expected they would either set the detainees free or bring them to Srinagar. But this doesn’t mean that we are against the dialogue,” Mehbooba said. “We thought as the PAGD head Dr. Abdullah would attend the meeting. But he insisted that we have got separate invitations and we should all go. We are hopeful that we will place our agenda before the prime minister,” Mehbooba said. “We will say that taking away the special position of J&K was illegal and its restoration will bring peace in the region,” Mehbooba said. The leaders asked for the release of former MLA Engineer Rashid and others before the meeting as a CBM for the talks.
The PAGD is an amalgam of six different political parties including the National Conference, People’s Democratic Party. The PAGD was formed to fight for the restoration of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir. On June 9 after six months a meeting among the signatories of the Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) was held at Mehbooba Mufti’s Gupkar residence. Since then there were speculations in the Valley that the centre and mainstream parties are likely to hold dialogue with the Centre restoring statehood to Jammu and Kashmir and holding an election in the region subsequently.