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New Delhi will regret scrapping J&K’s special status: Mehbooba Mufti

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Accuses Centre of creating pressure cooker like situation in J&K

Jammu: Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and Peoples Democratic party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti on Friday said the Government of India will regret scrapping Article 370 and that one day they will restore the special status of the erstwhile state.

“Time will come when they will restore not only Art 370 and 35-A, but they will also ask the people of J&K what else they want from us (GoI) besides special status,” Mufti said while addressing the party workers for the first time in Jammu after her release from detention.

The PDP office was fortified by a strong contingent of police and entries were allowed only after searching the visitors. The police had laid rolls of barbed wires outside the party office to prevent anti-PDP protests.

“Mark my words. I do not know about the situation since it is unpredictable in Kashmir. However, they (indirectly referring to BJP) will not remain in power forever. Whosoever will be in power in Delhi, they will regret their acts in J&K and they will also admit that they had misused the constitution (of India),” said Mufti.

“That day, they will tell us what you want from us (GoI) besides special status,” Mehbooba Mufti said, sounding confident. “You will witness that,” she told the party workers.

“I am hopeful that you will not leave this struggle midway. We all will fight it out together for the pride of Dogras and Kashmiris, which has been snatched like dacoits from us during a midnight decision. And, in the morning, our rights were snatched.”

She said the Parliament had no such powers to scrap special status of Jammu and Kashmir “because the constitution is bigger than parliament.”

The protest held by the party workers in Jammu inspired their counterparts in Srinagar, said Mufti. “However, they did not allow us to come out of the PDP office in Srinagar. They (govt) fear the PDP so much so that not even a peaceful protest is allowed to take place. What is the fear from PDP? Why are we not being allowed to hold peaceful protests when you claim in the entire world that the situation is peaceful? she asked.

“This country will be run as per the constitution of India not the agenda of BJP. If it runs with the BJP’s agenda, the country will not remain a country,” she said.

“It is not a religious war. It is a war of votes and power. Tell us China had martyred 20 soldiers in Ladakh border and Modi government does not speak a single word in Bihar election campaigns. You ask them (Biharis) to buy land in J&K. However, first provide them homes and jobs in Bihar and then tell them about J&K,” she said.

“They want to destroy Jammu by making it a battlefield of ‘religious war’. We have formed an alliance (People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration) to get back what was assured to us by the Indian Constitution, not from China or Pakistan,” Mufti added.

They term NC president and Member Parliament Farooq Abdullah as anti-national. “No one else is more secular than Farooq Abdullah who keeps the communities united. If you have to show power, then show it to China, instead of the people of J&K,” Mufti dared the BJP.

Mufti said that a time will come when Dogras and Kashmiris will become rare in J&K. “Now they claim to end unemployment in J&K whereas Haryana state has passed a law reserving 75 percent jobs for locals like in Madhya Pradesh. A situation will come when Dogras will become rare in Jammu and Kashmiris in Kashmir,” said Mufti.

“People have been pressured in J&K like a pressure cooker. If the pressure cooker bursts, it will burn down the whole house,” said Mufti.

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