NATIONAL

Kashmir parties warn against plan to remove Article 35A

Change in plans:Tourists getting ready to leave Srinagar following the security advisory issued to them.NISSAR AHMAD  

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.