J&K is witnessing a heightened political activity as the Centre mulls inviting all the political parties from the Union Territory (UT) to New Delhi in the last week of June to start a political engagement, which is likely to pave the way for the restoration of statehood.
Several constituents of the Gupkar alliance, an amalgam of five political parties fighting for pre-August 5, 2019 position of J&K, met in Srinagar on Friday to “discuss the future course”, sources said.
As J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and the top police officials met Union Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi on Friday, sources said the Centre is likely to invite J&K parties on June 24 or after that. J&K was split into two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh 22 months ago.
“We have no information about any initiative. We have not got any formal invitation yet. Let them make it public. We have never blocked the way forward,” the Gupkar alliance spokesman M.Y. Tarigami told Kashmir Post.
Mr. Tarigami said J&K needs initiatives because the confidence is “completely shattered here”.
“I urge the democratic Government of India that enough is enough. Let there be initiatives to restore confidence in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh,” he said.
The Gupkar alliance spokesman said the onus of proving sincerity lies with those who “hampered the normalisation” and with the leadership of the country.
“We have a set agenda that we agreed upon on August 4, 2019. We are for special a constitutional position of J&K and against bifurcation of J&K. We are committed to it. However, this does not mean we will not talk. We will see that legitimate rights of people of J&K are restored,” he added.
Sources said both the National Conference (NC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), key constituents of the Gupkar alliance, are weighing their options in case a political process is announced by the Centre. The PDP is likely to hold a meeting of its leaders to “take stock of the situation and decide whether to attend it or not”.
Sources said the constituents of the Gupkar alliance lack consensus on what terms to engage with Delhi and how to bridge the mistrust, sources said. NC president Dr. Farooq Abdullah, who was summoned and his property was attached by the Enforcement Directorate in a case, has also dropped broad hints at engaging Delhi. Sources said Dr. Abdullah, also president of the Gupkar alliance, is likely to call a meeting of the constituents of the amalgam in coming days.
The Centre ended J&K’s special constitutional position on August 5, 2019. It was followed by a major crackdown and jailing of the mainstream leaders political parties, including Dr. Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti.