Delhi will regret ending J&K's special status: Mehbooba Mufti

PDP President and former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today said the Government of India will regret revoking Articles 370 and 35A and the day will come when they will restore the special status to J&K.

“Time will come when they will restore not only Art 370 and 35A, but they will also ask the people of J&K what else they want from the us (GoI) besides special status,” Mufti said while addressing party workers for the first time in Jammu after her release from detention post-August 5, 2019, constitutional changes in J&K.

The PDP office was fortified by a strong contingent of police and entry was restricted. The police laid rolls of barbed wire outside to stop any kind of protest against the PDP.

The enthusiasm among the PDP leaders and workers of Jammu region was visible when Mufti was addressing them in the party office at Gandhi Nagar.

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

“That day, they will tell us what you want from us (GoI) besides special status,” Mehbooba Mufti confidently said and asked the party leaders that they will be the witness to this happening.

“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 from us during a midnight decision. And, in the morning, our rights were snatched.”

She asserted that the scrapping of special status could not be done by any parliament.

“The parliament has no such powers to scrap special status because the Constitution is bigger than parliament,” said Mehbooba Mufti. “No one can digest things which are received out of burglary. They will have to return (special status and statehood) with compound interest to J&K,” said Mehbooba Mufti, who was welcomed by the PDP leaders and workers with applause.

‘JAMMU PDP INSPIRED KASHMIR LEADERS’

“Jammu’s protest inspired the leaders of PDP in Srinagar to hold a protest. However, they did not allow us to come out of the PDP office in Srinagar. They (Govt) fear the PDP 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.

“They told the PDP youth leaders in Srinagar to sign a bond that you will not do it again then they will end the case. What is the case? This country will run with the Constitution of India not with the agenda of BJP,” she said.

“If it runs with the BJP’s agenda, the country will not remain a country. It will further create differences. J&K had joined the Union of India because it was a secular country and if you hurt the basic structure of the nation, it will break the society,” she added.

‘IT IS NOT RELIGIOUS WAR, IT IS WAR OF VOTES & POWER’

“It is not a religious war. It is a war of votes and power. China martyred 20 soldiers in Ladakh border and Modi Govt does not speak a single word in Bihar election campaign. You ask them (Biharis) to buy land in J&K. 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.”

DEFENDS FAROOQ ABDULLAH

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

“I was worried when I was Chief Minister of J&K (during PDP-BJP alliance Govt). We were not able to make the people of Kashmir understand why late Mufti Mohammed Sayeed allied with BJP instead of Congress. Its main reason was the tenure of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in which policies like opening of cross border routes, talks with separatists and Pakistan were held. In this backdrop, Mufti Sayeed wanted to take further the legacy of Vajpayee.”

“For the sake of power BJP had agreed that they will not touch Art 370, return two power projects to J&K, to open Sialkot-Jammu route, Jammu-Askardu route, to hold talks in J&K to resolve issues, while entering into alliance with the PDP during late Mufti Mohammed Sayeed’s time. BJP thought that I was soft towards Kashmir and not able to control the situation in the Valley. They wanted me to control situations like what they do today in J&K. They expected me to ban Jamaat-e-Islami, send underage boys to Uttar Pradesh-Bihar jails, do not allow anyone to speak, bury militants in unidentified places.”

“You cannot do such things with your enemies, how can you do it with your own people. When Raisana and other things happened, they had to run away because they had no courage to face the circumstances. If they had courage, they should have touched Art 370 that time. When Art 35-A was challenged in the court, I had categorically told them that if Art 35-A is touched, I will resign as Chief Minister and the Government will fall.”

‘DOGRAS- 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 Mehbooba while referring to the inflow of outsiders in J&K after the scrapping of special status.

“People have been pressurised in J&K like a pressure cooker. If the pressure cooker bursts, it burns the whole house,” warned Mehbooba Mufti.