Reyaz Rashid

Ending Article 370 would end J&K’s accession: Mehbooba Mufti

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Baramulla, Apr 04: Former chief minister and Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti Thursday said India’s constitutional relation with Jammu and Kashmir will turn into “occupation and colonization” if state’s special status is done away with.

Addressing party worker’s in Sangrama and Sheeri areas of Baramulla  district of north Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti said that by targeting Article 370 and Article 35-A, the BJP is hell-bent  on “converting  the legal and constitutional relationship between Jammu and Kashmir and the Union into a formal  occupation”..

“The relationship between our state and the country is based on our special constitutional position that legitimizes it. If we remove, what legalizes this relationship will turn into an occupation,” Mehbooba said.

She said soon after the polls of 2014 accorded a fractured mandate to political parties in Jammu and Kashmir, BJP at that time pleaded before Mufti Mohammad Sayeed to form a coalition government.

“You (BJP) accepted our every condition and we took it in writing from you that you will not touch Article 35-A and 370. We took it in writing from you that talks will be held between Hurriyat and New Delhi and also enough surety that power projects will be returned from the NHPC to Jammu and Kashmir,” said the PDP president said.

Reacting to BJP president Amit Shah’s assertion that removal of Articles 370 and 35-A would be a relity by 2020, Mehbooba reiterated : “If that turns out to be the case, 2020 will also be a deadline from Jammu & Kashmir to the nation. If you remove those terms and conditions on which J&K acceded to India, our relation with the country will also end.”

Referring to the Rasana (Kathua) rape-and-murder case, Mehbooba said she went to New Delhi and made it clear before the helmsmen that the PDP cannot remain the part of government until the two ministers, who had openly supported the rapists, aren’t sacked and until the investigation isn’t allowed to take place in a transparent manner.

She added that at present, “BJP is trying to turn Jammu and Kashmir into a war zone so that it could torture, harass, ridicule, intimidate and kill people here for electoral gains.”

Mehbooba, while reacting to highway ban order said that same is reminiscent of martial law and that it will undermine all the good work done to restore peoples’ faith in democratic principles and institutions of fair play.  PDP president termed the order illegal and said same will be sternly opposed by the PDP.

PDP president was flanked by senior party leaders including party patron Muzaffar Hussain Beigh, Dr Mehboob Beg, Javaid Beigh, Safina Beigh and several others.

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