A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held Jammu and Kashmir all-party meeting, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad — who represented the grand old party in meeting with PM — in an exclusive conversation with India TV gave insights of the conversation of J&K leaders with PM Modi, issues which were discussed and Centre's conduct towards the opposition.
Ghulam Nabi Azad said that there was no fixed agenda and time limit set by the government for the talks. Home Minister Amit Shah told us whatever you all want to discuss will be the agenda.
"I must say the ruling party's conduct should be appreciated," Ghulam Nabi Azad added.
"I want to give credit to both the leaders of Jammu and Kashmir and the government. The body language, presentation, and language of both sides were appreciable," he said.
"Though leaders apprised the government about their discontent over the manner in which Article 370 was abrogated, they also agreed 'jo hua, so hua'. We said we won't discuss Article 370 as the issue is pending before the Supreme Court," Azad said.
"We demanded that Jammu and Kashmir's statehood must be restored as soon as possible," he mentioned.
Speaking about Congress' demands which were presented in the meeting with PM Modi, Ghulam Nabi Azad said, "elections should be held in Jammu and Kashmir. Rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits should be expedited."
Ghulam Nabi Azad on Mehbooba Mufti
Speaking on what Mehbooba Mufti said during meeting with PM Modi, Ghulam Nabi Azad said the PDP chief and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister clarified that she has no affiliation with Pakistan.
Ghulam Nabi Azad mentioned that Mehbooba said when we say that 'talk with Pakistan', it doesn't mean we have empathy for that country. There were talks of bridging the bridges in the meeting.
Mehbooba Mufti — who addressed a presser after attending PM Modi's meeting — had said they will keep making efforts for the restoration of Article 370 constitutionally and legally.
The Prime Minister said that leadership should work on reducing militancy because he can feel the pain of a mother who is losing a child because of this, Ghulam Nabi Azad added.
In the first all-party meeting involving leaders from Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5, 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that the Centre is fully committed to the democratic process in J&K, and holding Assembly elections in the region just like the successful conduct of the District Development Council (DDC) polls is a priority.
Delimitation, roadmap for Assembly polls, restoration of statehood and bringing back Kashmiri Pandits were the key issues discussed in the crucial all-party meeting on Jammu and Kashmir that was chaired by Prime Minister Modi and involved leaders from different political parties in J&K.
The meeting lasted for more than three-and-a-half hours with nobody raising cross-border issues, sources said.
In the first such meeting held nearly two years after the erstwhile state of J&K lost its special status and was bifurcated into two Union Territories -- Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh -- the Prime Minister heard all the suggestions and inputs put forward by the participants and expressed happiness over everyone sharing their frank and honest views.