PM holding talks with political leaders from J&K constructive initiative: RSS mouthpiece

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New Delhi, Jun 30 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent meeting with 14 political leaders from Jammu and Kashmir was 'a constructive initiative' but there is a need to remain 'cautious', an editorial published in the RSS mouthpiece, Organiser, has said.

'The delimitation process for carving out new constituencies is going on. The central government naturally wants the political parties to be part of this process. They can make suggestions and raise objections while the Election Commission is carrying out this exercise,' noted the editorial published in the Organiser's latest edition.

'While doing so, we need to be cautious considering previous experiences. The old habits of doublespeak, toeing the Pakistani line and negating rights to the Jammu region will not die down so quickly,' it added.

Nearly two years after the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir's special status and its bifurcation into Union territories, the prime minister held talks with the top political leaders from the erstwhile state last week and said the Centre's priority is to strengthen the grassroots democracy there for which delimitation has to happen quickly.

The meeting also saw Modi conveying to the 14 leaders from the Union Territory that he wanted to end the 'Dilli ki duri' as well as the 'dil ki duri' (the distance from Delhi as well as the distance of hearts) with Jammu and Kashmir, which has witnessed a prolonged spell of militancy and unrest.

The participants to the three-and-a-half-hour-long high-level meeting included four former Jammu and Kashmir chief ministers -- Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar Abdullah of the National Conference (NC), Congress's Ghulam Nabi Azad and People's Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti.

'Almost after two years of the shocker to amend Article 370 and abrogate Article 35A, the Modi government, in a constructive initiative, held a dialogue with the 14 political leaders of Jammu and Kashmir,' the RSS mouthpiece said in the editorial.

While accepting the prime minister's invitation for the meeting, there were no 'ifs and buts from the Abdullahs and Muftis,' it added.

'The fear of alternative leadership emerging from the below and the growing acceptance by the people of the post-370 situation forced these blackmailing, Kashmir-centric and self-serving leaders to capitulate their position,' the editorial said.

It said the government has taken several steps for the 'inclusive development' of Jammu and Kashmir since the revocation of its special status.

'All these initiatives made the people realise that they were fooled by the vested interests in the name of special status,' it added.

The ground situation has 'improved' with cross-border infiltration going down and local insurgency 'not getting much support', the editorial said, adding that the government has nothing to lose.

'There is no question of restoring the special status. This has been made clear and regaining statehood is a process in which these leaders have to cooperate,' it said.

The editorial said rehabilitation of the displaced Hindus and reclaiming the illegally occupied territories by Pakistan 'are the only outstanding issues'.

'Whatever dialogue that takes place has to be for realising these goals. To achieve the same, more extensive participation of civil society groups, especially from the Jammu region, has to be ensured in the next stage,' it said. PTI PK RC

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