‘Will discuss strategy if Delhi calls for talks’

So far no invitation received: says Farooq Abdullah

Srinagar, June 19 (KMS): Amid media reports that Indian government is going to invite political parties of Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir for talks on Thursday (24 June) in Delhi, National Conference President Farooq Abdullah has said that they will first sit and discuss the strategy to be followed if they get the formal invitation from New Delhi.

Indian officials had said on Friday said Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, is likely to chair a meeting with all political parties from IIOJK on June 24 as part of India’s initiatives to bolster political processes, including holding assembly elections, in the territory.

Farooq Abdullah in an interview in Srinagar said, “So far we haven’t received any formal invite from New Delhi for talks. If we get any invitation, we will first sit and discuss the strategy to be adopted for the meeting.”

The People Democratic Party (PDP) chief, Mehbooba Mufti, however, confirmed to media that she has received a formal invitation from New Delhi for the meeting on 24 June. “Yes, I got a phone call from Delhi and I have been invited for a meeting on June 24. The meeting will be chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” she said. “I haven’t decided yet whether to attend the meet.”

She said, there is no clear-cut agenda about the talks with New Delhi. However, I have asked my party’s Political Affairs Committee (PAC) for a meeting to discuss the same. She said that the decision of whether to participate in the talks would be taken by the party for which the PAC has been called on Sunday.

“There is no agenda for the meeting but I was conveyed that the meeting is being called to review the general situation and how to take the political process forward. There is no clear-cut agenda,” Mehbooba said.

Communist Party of India Marxist (CPI-M) leader, CPI (M) leader, M Y Tarigami, also said he hasn’t got any invitation from the Indian government. “Neither formal nor informal invitation has been received by me. There is no communication from New Delhi at all,” he said.

Media reports quoting sources said that Modi government was going to invite all the political leaders from IIOJK one by one.

Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party chief, Altaf Bukhari, claimed the solution to Jammu and Kashmir’s problems lies in New Delhi. “We openly state that we have a relation with Delhi. Solutions to J-K’s problems lie at New Delhi not Islamabad, New York or London,” he claimed. He termed Delhi’s invitation to J-K’s political parties a welcome development.

Bukhari said there were three main issues: restoration of statehood, security of jobs and security of land. “With God’s grace and support of PM Modi and HM (Home Minister) Amit Shah we have managed security of jobs and security of land and I believe within a year or so, statehood will also be restored,” he added.

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