Pakistan calls GoI’s All-Party Meet ‘drama, PR exercise’

New Delhi: Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Friday described Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi’s meeting with politicians of Jammu and Kashmir as a “drama” and a “PR exercise”.

Modi held talks with politicians from Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday and told them that the Government of India’s priority is to strengthen grassroots democracy there for which delimitation has to happen quickly for polls to be held.

This was the first interaction in JK since August 5, 2019, when the GoI revoked its special status provided under Article 370 and bifurcated the border state into Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

“In my view it was a drama and why was it a drama? Because at best it could be called a public relations exercise but nothing was achieved,” Qureshi, according to reports, said a day after the high-level meeting on Jammu and Kashmir in New Delhi.

Qureshi said the Kashmiri leaders at the meeting “unanimously demanded full-fledged restoration of statehood”.

“The leaders were not given any solid reply to their demand and instead told that a decision about restoration of the special status of Kashmir will be taken at an appropriate time, which is an ambiguous statement,” he said.

He pointed out that the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) leadership was not invited to the meeting.

Tensions between India and Pakistan have spiked since New Delhi abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, 2019.

India’s decision evoked strong reactions from Pakistan, which downgraded diplomatic ties and expelled the Indian envoy.


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