Don’t tinker with Article-35A, Mehbooba warns Centre

Srinagar

Peoples Democratic Party President and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday warned the government against tinkering with the Article 35A.

PDP President Mehbooba Mufti addressing workers on the 20th foundation day of the party held at the Sher-e-Kashmir Park in Srinagar on Sunday, July 28, 2019. KL Image by Bilal Bahadur

Mehbooba while addressing workers on the 20th foundation day of the PDP held at the Sher-e-Kashmir Park in Srinagar said that tinkering with Article 35A is like playing with gunpowder and any hand tries to touch the Article not only that hand, but that whole body will be burnt to ashes.

“35A ke saath chhedd chhadd karna baarood ko haath lagaane ke baraabar hoga. Jo haath 35A ke saath chhedd chaadd karne ke liye uthenge wo haath hi nahi wo saara jism jal ke raakh ho jaega (sic),” Mehbooba said.

Whether it was the government lead by mufti sahib in 2002 or the subsequent times, PDP lead the way towards a peaceful and prosperous J&K.  Getting New Delhi and Islamabad to engage, initiating dialogue with the separatists, disbanding Task Force, giving incentives of the improving security situation to common people & ushering in a new era of development in the state has been the hallmark of PDP rule in the state, She said.

Underlining how Mufti Muhammad Sayeed reined in even the staunchest opponents of state’s special status & dialogue, Mehbooba reminded that the Agenda of Alliance between PDP and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) saw BJP giving in writing that they won’t touch the special constitutional status of J&K & would pursue a policy of engagement and dialogue with Pakistan and separatists for the resolution of Kashmir problem.

“Till the time we kept BJP engaged, we insulated the state from any step from the centre against our special status. It was no small thing to get Modi Lead union government to do month-long ceasefire in the state, appoint a cabinet secretary rank interlocutor and make many offers of unconditional dialogue at the union home minister level. But we did achieve all this,” she added.

Mehbooba said that while the state is witnessing an onslaught on its special status and attempts are being made to disempower our people politically and economically, PDP will fight such designs tooth and nail at any cost.

“We are facing an onslaught. Our special status and identity is being targeted. We are being disempowered politically and economically. In such times, PDP will take lead to fight such designs. You will have to be prepared to fight a long and hard battle that would require us to render more sacrifices. We have been selectively harassed in past and may see so in future too because everyone knows that ours is the only Party that will stand strong as a wall against attacks on our special status,” she told the party workers.

“We would fight to protect our special status at any cost. And let it be very clear that those who touch our special status would actually be triggering a bomb that would lead to devastation,” she added.

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