Dr Drabu Declines PAC Membership, Calls It Appeasement Not Atonement

SRINAGAR: A day after being nominated into Political Affairs Committee (PAC), the top policy-making body of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr Haseeb a Drabu has shown his “inability” to be part of the PAC.

J&K Finance Minister Dr Haseeb Drabu speaking to diplomats and investors at a PHD Chamber event on March 9, 2018

In a detailed letter addressed to the party president, the former finance minister has expressed “pleasant surprise” to known about the development first through “social media” and subsequently in the “print media.”

In his letter, Dr Drabu, who was a close confidante of PDP patron Late Mufti Muhammad Sayeed has said that he was inducted into the PAC as soon as he joined the party in mid-2014. “It was in mid-2014, as soon as I had joined PDP, that I was inducted into PAC by Mufti Sahib,” he wrote and has acknowledged the “value and significance of being a PAC member.”

“I know the value and significance of being a PAC member. More so at a time when the state is going through a phase of an exceptional political crisis, reads the letter and he adds “ the party is also confronted with serious challenges both from within and outside.”

He expresses hope that “both these make the PAC an even more important institution for navigating the party as well as contributing to restore political order in the state through sagacious political conduct.”

However, Dr Drabu said that in the last few years “important PAC in the recent past not only lacked authority but was consciously made to be seen as lacking authority.”

He termed the ongoing party reorganisation and reconstitution of the PAC as more of an appeasement than atonement” and said the constitutional limit on members of the PAC has been breached. “In addition to 15 members (as against the stipulated 11), there are 10 invitees taking the number to 28.”

Dr Drabu says “after serious thought, I am not convinced that PAC is genuinely empowered to pursue whatever is required to bring back the politics of the state from its current state of the abyss”. He adds: “nor is it able to function in a framework of open and emancipated deliberations to find ways of repairing and restoring the value system of the civil society which has been seriously impaired.”

Thanking Mehbooba Mufti for nominating him, Dr Drabu conveyed his “inability with regret to be part of this PAC.”

However, he reiterated his efforts to continue his work for peace, progress and prosperity of the state. “Needless to say that I will continue work, as I have in the past, for a peaceful, progressive and prosperous J&K.”

Concluding his letter, Dr Drabu “wished PAC positive and purposeful political deliberations for the betterment of the party and people of the state.”

Co-author of Agenda of Alliance, Dr Drabu was sacked by then Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on March 12, 2018, for his remarks in Delhi.

Earlier, when Mehbooba reconstituted the PAC, Dr Drabu, a lawmaker from Rajpora did not figure among the nominations. From the day of his sacking, he was not present at any party meeting and had remained aloof from the party activities.

Syed Altaf Bukhari who was also not part of the reconstituted PAC was also inducted by the same order by PDP president in which Drabu was nominated. Bukhari is the party treasurer.

Here follows the complete text of the letter that Drabu has sent to PDP President Ms Mehbooba Mufti:

Mtr Mehboobaji,
I was pleasantly surprised to read, first in the social media and subsequently in the print media, that I have been “nominated” to the Political Affairs Committee (PAC) of the J&K Peoples Democratic Party.
It was in mid 2014, as soon as I had joined PDP, that I was inducted into the PAC by Mufti sahib. As such, I know the value and significance of being a PAC member. More so at a time when the state is going through a phase of exceptional political chaos and social crisis. The party is also confronted with serious challenges both from within and outside.
Both these make the PAC an even more important institution for navigating the party as well as contributing to restore political order in the state through sagacious political conduct.
However, the PAC has, in the recent past, not only lacked authority but was consciously made to be seen as lacking authority. In this context, the ongoing party reorganisation and reconstitution of the PAC appears to be a more of an appeasement than atonement. No wonder the party constitutional limit on members of the PAC has been breached. In addition to 18 members (as against the stipulated 11) there are 10 invitees taking the number to 28.
After giving it a serious thought, I am afraid, I am not convinced that the PAC is genuinely empowered to pursue whatever is required to bring back the politics of the state from its current state of abyss.
Nor is it able to function in a framework of open and emancipated deliberations to find ways of repairing and restoring the value system of the civil society which has been seriously impaired.
I thank you for the nomination but regret my inability to be a part of this PAC.
Needless to say that I will continue to work, as i have in the past, for a peaceful, progressive and prosperous J&K.
I wish the PAC positive and purposeful political deliberations for the betterment of the party and the people of the state.
 With regards,
 Sincerely yours,
 Haseeb A Drabu
8 September, 2018

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