J&K political leaders meeting today

Former   Jammu & Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti will attend a meeting of major political parties in Srinagar on Thursday two days after she became the last of the major political leaders to be released from detention. National Conference (NC) chief Farooq Abdullah has convened the meeting. Congress leader GA Mir, Sajad Lone of the People’s Conference, Awami National Conference’s Muzaffar Shah, and MY Tarigani of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) are those expected to attend the meeting.

Mufti, 61, was released on Tuesday 14 months after she was among hundreds of people, including two other former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah, detained to prevent protests against the Centre’s move to divest Jammu & Kashmir of its special status in August 2019.

Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah were released in March. They met Mufti on Wednesday to invite her for the meeting with the signatories of the Gupkar Declaration and to discuss the current political situation and the future course of action.

The signatories met a day before the Centre moved to change Jammu & Kashmir’s constitutional status. They vowed to defend the “identity, autonomy, and special status of Jammu & Kashmir against all attacks and onslaughts whatsoever”. The statement has since been known as the Gupkar Declaration.

On August 22, six political parties issued a statement backing the declaration. This was the first statement issued after the nullification of the Constitution’s Article 370 that gave Jammu & Kashmir the special status.