NC President endorses Mehbooba's call for APM

Immediately after PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti on Monday sought help from National Conference president Farooq Abdullah to present a united front against the Centre’s alleged plan to end Article 35A, the latter said that they were calling an All-Party Meeting (APM) within two or three days to discuss the issue.

“I am presently in Delhi and am in touch with other leaders and we will accordingly decide about the date (for calling all-party meeting),” Dr Farooq told local news agency KNS over phone from New Delhi when asked to react over Mehbooba’s statement.

“There is panic (in Kashmir) as one lakh soldiers have been called which is not a joke. On one hand government claims situation is normal, yatra is going on smoothly and tourists are coming while on the other they are deploying more forces and have kept masjids under scrutiny,” the NC chief said.

While taking a jibe at Centre’s decision to keep the management committees of the majsids under watch, he said, “They (government) are not keeping an eye on other religious places, but masjids are being singled out. This is a serious issue that is why we are calling the meeting.”

Asked to comment on the speculations regarding revocation of Article 35A and Article 370, he said, “They (Centre) say one thing and do other. We don’t trust them (New Delhi). We have to discuss it and remain ready to face it.”

Sources said Abdullah along with two other NC MPs – Mohammad Akbar Lone and Justice (retd) Hasnain Masoodi – are scheduled to meet opposition leaders in New Delhi on Tuesday. “The NC delegation is also likely to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, where they will brief him about the situation which could emerge if Article 35A is revoked,” they said. Earlier, Mehbooba in a tweet said, “In light of recent developments that have caused a sense of panic amongst people in J&K, I’ve requested Dr Farooq Abdullah sahab to convene an all party meeting. Need of the hour is to come together & forge a united response. We the people of Kashmir need to stand up as one.”