Timeline: August 2019 and New Delhi’s dialogue initiative

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5 August 2019: India scrapped Articles 370 and 35A as it abrogated the semi-autonomous status and the statehood of Jammu and Kashmir. The articles had allowed the state a certain amount of autonomy including its own constitution, a separate flag and freedom to make laws. In a simultaneous crackdown against Kashmiri political leadership, three former chief ministers – Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti – and dozens of former legislators are detained.

8 August 2019: Narendra Modi took an indirect dig at the National Conference and People’s Democratic Party in a special broadcast two days after the abrogation of Article 370 and 35A. He lashed out at the dynastic politics and said that decades of dynastic rule in Jammu and Kashmir has prevented development in the state. “Decades of dynasty rule in J&K prevented the youth from political leadership. Now my youth of J&K will lead the development work and take the region to new heights.”

March-October 2020: National Conference president Farooq Abdullah and vice-president Omar Abdullah are released in March while PDP president Mehbooba Mufti is released in October.

April-June 2020: China intrudes into Depsang Plains in Ladakh and blocks access for Indian patrols between Points 10 and 13 from a strategic bottleneck called Y junction. On 15 June, a violent clash between Indian and Chinese troops occurs in the Galwan valley of Ladakh; at least 20 Indian soldiers are killed.

May 2020: New set of rules called Jammu and Kashmir Grant of Domicile Certificate (Procedure) Rules 2020 are issued by the administration in the Union Territory of J-K. The domicile certificates are made mandatory for employment in Kashmir following amendments to the J-K Civil Services rules. Eligible individuals from any part of India will also be granted the right to purchase immovable property in J-K.

June 2020: The 46th US President Biden asks India to take necessary steps to restore the rights of Kashmiris. In 2019, soon after New Delhi stripped J-K’s special status and split it into two Union Territories, Kamala Harris, who became the US vice-president a year later, had said, “we have to remind Kashmiris they are not alone in the world. We are keeping track of the situation. There is a need to intervene if the situation demands.”

October 2020: People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration is formed as major political parties based in Jammu and Kashmir form an alliance aimed at restoring the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. Farooq Abdullah is the elected chairperson of the PAGD.

June 2021: New Delhi invited Kashmiri political leaders including PAGD members for talks. PAGD announces a team headed by Farooq Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti and Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami will attend the All Party Meeting called by Narendra Modi in New Delhi on 24 June.

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