A 24-member delegation of the newly formed Jammu and Kashmir Apni Party on Saturday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, PTI reported. Modi assured the delegation that the government will work with all sections of the society to restore Jammu and Kashmir’s statehood.

The delegation was headed by the party’s president Altaf Bukhari. Projecting the party as an alternative to the regional parties such as the National Conference and the People’s Democratic Party, Bukhari sought full statehood and domicile rights to protect residents’ land and jobs.

“Referring to his statement in Parliament, the prime minister underlined that the government will work with all sections of the population to realise the hopes of statehood for Jammu and Kashmir at an early opportunity,” a statement by the Prime Minister’s Office said.

Modi also promised the party that there would be no demographic change in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, ANI reported. “He is a man of commitment,” Bukhari said. “His heart beats for people of Jammu and Kashmir. He understands what the people of Jammu and Kashmir want. He appreciated when we said that we want the same laws as the rest of the country.”

The outfit, which comprises several former National Conference and PDP leaders and members, was launched on March 8. The party had said it was willing to move beyond Article 370 and engage with the Centre.

The delegation thanked Modi for his “unstinted support” and “untiring efforts” towards the development of Jammu and Kashmir, the statement added. They also requested him to release all political leaders from detention.

They will meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday, according to The Indian Express.

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