Ground Report | New Delhi: On 23 January 2004; The meeting of the leaders of Jammu and Kashmir with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah. In a meeting with 14 leaders of eight mainstream parties of Jammu and Kashmir, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that his government is committed to strengthening the roots of democracy in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Prime Minister appealed to all political parties to cooperate in the process of delimitation. There is talk of holding elections after the delimitation. In this meeting, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah have reiterated their commitment to restoring the full statehood of Jammu and Kashmir.
In this meeting, all the parties raised the issue of the full statehood of Jammu and Kashmir. The issue of Article 370 also arose, but most of the parties talked about fighting a legal battle in this matter. Petitions have also been filed in the Supreme Court regarding this. This matter is pending in court.
On 23 January 2004
The English newspaper The Indian Express has also published an analysis on the front page along with the news of the meeting of the leaders of PM Modi and Jammu and Kashmir.
It is written in this analysis, “Earlier a Prime Minister had a meeting on Jammu and Kashmir on 23 January 2004 and it was also discussed in the same way. Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had met the separatist leaders of Kashmir. Vajpayee had given his “insaniyat (humanism), jamhoo-riyat (democracy), and Kashmiriyat (Hindu-Muslim amity) speech in Srinagar. The then Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani had hosted these leaders a day earlier.
Nine months before this meeting, Atal Bihari Vajpayee gave a speech on Insaniyat, Jamhooriyat and Kashmiriyat in Srinagar. The big difference in this meeting of Vajpayee and Modi is that now the mainstream leaders in Jammu and Kashmir are marginalized and their meeting with the Prime Minister is being considered important in the matter of returning full statehood to Jammu and Kashmir. But will this change anything between Delhi and Srinagar?
The Indian Express has written, “Three former Chief Ministers of Jammu and Kashmir were in jail for 221 to 436 days. There is a huge lack of trust but they know there is no alternative but to negotiate. This meeting has given space to these leaders to talk about their areas.
After attending the meeting on Thursday, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and Vice President of National Conference Omar Abdullah said that the meeting with the Prime Minister is the beginning of a process.
Trust has been broken between Delhi and Srinagar
Omar Abdullah said, “Trust has been broken between Delhi and Srinagar. There is a need to take steps from the Prime Minister to add to this trust. It is the responsibility of the Center to restore trust. He said that whatever was done on August 5, 2019, is unacceptable. Abdullah said, “People are not liking Jammu and Kashmir as a union territory. People want that Jammu and Kashmir should get full statehood and its cadre should be restored.
National Conference and Gupkar alliance chief Dr. Farooq Abdullah said that restoration of trust is the most important thing and restoration of full statehood would be the first step in this direction from New Delhi. All the leaders of the Gupkar alliance also reiterated the need to restore the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said after the meeting that she praises Prime Minister Modi for his dialogue with China and Pakistan. Mufti said that India should also talk to Pakistan for peace in Kashmir. Mehbooba Mufti said, “We also want the protection of land, jobs, and mineral wealth of Jammu and Kashmir. Here the atmosphere of all kinds of fear should end. I also demand the release of political prisoners.
Demanded security of land and jobs
People’s Conference (PC) of Kashmir and Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party also demanded security of land and jobs of Jammu and Kashmir during the meeting. These parties said that the meeting was held in a very good atmosphere. However, these parties did not speak on Article 370 and said that the matter is sub-judice in the court.
People’s Conference leader Muzaffar Hussain said, “I advised the Prime Minister that under Article 371, 54A should be implemented here so that jobs and land can be kept safe for the local people. All the parties demanded full statehood to Jammu and Kashmir. The Prime Minister said that after the delimitation elections will be held and full statehood will also be restored. After that other issues will be resolved.