Other States

Kashmir parties warn against plan to remove Article 35A

Former J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and leaders of other political parties address the media outside the Raj Bhavan in Srinagar on August 2, 2019. Photo: Twitter/@jkpdp  

J&K parties on Friday warned the Centre against any dilution in the constitutional status of J&K, and sought the government’s clarification on the current “hysteria” in Parliament.

“India has finally failed to win over the love of J&K, which rejected divisions on religious grounds and chose secular India. The gloves are finally off, and India has chosen territory over people,” Peoples Democratic Party leader Mehbooba Mufti said.

She said the PDP always believed that any concession or a final solution on J&K had to come from India. “But today, the same country seems to be preparing to rob J&K of whatever little is left to protect its unique identity,” she said.


National Conference (NC) vice-president Omar Abdullah questioned the government move to shift pilgrims and tourists out of J&K. “State Road Transport Corporation (SRTC) buses are being deployed to bus people out from Pahalgam and Gulmarg. If there is a threat to the yatra, why is Gulmarg being emptied,” he asked.

CPI(M) leader M.Y. Tarigami questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence in the Parliament over the issue.

Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said the removal of Article 35A was to change the demography of the State. “The provision was negotiated by the regional electoral parties and is an article of faith, which should not be breached. Such measures will not change the reality that Kashmir is an issue and has to be resolved. The word is asking India and Pakistan to resolve it and there are also offers to mediate,” he told a Friday congregation in Srinagar.

Mehbooba leads all-party delegation

Ms. Mufti arranged late evening meetings with rival National Conference president Dr. Farooq Abdullah, Peoples Conference chief Sajad Lone, Mr. Tarigami and J&K Peoples Movement head Shah Faesal. Later, Ms. Mufti led a joint delegation of these parties to meet Mr. Malik. Ms. Mufti sought to dispel rumours fuelled by the government order asking the tourists and Amarnath pilgrims to leave as soon as possible.

“After a brief discussion, we called on Mr. Malik ji and requested him to dispel rumours that have caused a sense of panic in the Valley,” said Ms. Mufti.

Mr. Faesal, while questioning the government advisory, said, “Should Kashmiris also migrate to other places or is it that our lives do not matter?”

Meanwhile, sources said Dr. Abdullah extended support to Ms. Mufti. Dr. Abdullah is likely to convene an all-party meet in Srinagar after Mr. Omar Abdullah returns to the Valley.

‘Serious and credible inputs on terrorist attacks’

After meeting leaders of the parties, Mr. Malik informed the delegation that there were serious and credible inputs regarding terrorist attacks on the Amarnath Yatra.

“It is the responsibility of the state to provide security to all its citizens. Unnecessary panic is being created by linking this to all kinds of other issues. A pure security measure is being mixed up with issues with which it has no connection. The political leaders should ask their supporters to maintain calm,” he said.

The Governor said he himself had clarified matters on 35A yesterday in Baramulla.

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Printable version | Oct 21, 2021 3:34:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/kashmir-parties-warn-against-plan-to-remove-article-35a/article28802365.ece

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