The Union government in its effort to build a new Jammu and Kashmir has invited the major political leaders of the region to hold talks with PM Modi in a bid to chart out the path for the region troubled with Pakistan sponsored terrorists. However, the leaders of Jammu and Kashmir wasted this golden opportunity and instead sought to indulge in a political slugfest with the Centre which will ultimately prove to be an exercise in vain.
After much deliberations, the Gupkar alliance led by National Conference’s Farooq Abdullah and People’s Democratic Party Mehbooba Mufti have finally decided to attend the all-party meeting which will be chaired by PM Modi on June 24.
While it is being reported that the Centre would be willing to hold talks over the issue of granting statehood to Jammu and Kashmir which is a significant step, however, the J&K leaders are not satisfied with just the statehood and are coming with their own respective agendas which will likely result in an impasse.
No sooner did former J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti receive the invitation from Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla did she start advocating for making Pakistan a stakeholder and demanded that the Indian government holds a dialogue with Pakistan – a failed state whose sole intention is to wreak havoc in Kashmir.
Mufti said, “Indian government should start talks with Pakistan also.” She added, “If they can go to Doha and talk to the Taliban, they should have a dialogue with us and with Pakistan too in order to bring about a resolution.”
Mufti is also pushing for the restoration of J&K’s special status which is likely to be dismissed quickly by PM Modi during the all-party meeting.
Meanwhile, Congress leader Ghulam Nahi Azad said that full statehood would be the topmost agenda during the talks. He said, “Sabse unchi demand statehood ki hogi (Statehood will be the top demand). That will be top of the agenda. And it was promised on the floor of the House as well. Full-fledged statehood…not L-G’s statehood.”
He added, “I am consulting Congress leaders from both Jammu and Kashmir. After that, I will seek guidance from our party’s leadership — the Congress president and former prime minister Manmohan Singh — and those colleagues who were directly or indirectly involved in this….So it is too early to say. Yes, I can say that full statehood will be top of the agenda.”
Amidst the clamour for statehood, restoration of special status and batting for Pakistan, there seems to be scant regard for the development of the region and the people. It seems that the J&K leaders are hell-bent on taking back the region to the good old days when they would plunder the erstwhile state at will, thanks to its statehood and special status.