Mehbooba calls on Farooq Abdullah to organise All Party meet
Wahid Bhat |SRINAGAR
Former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Farooq Abdullah warned the Centre against any move to abrogate Articles 35A and 370 that accord special status to the state and its people.
“Article 35A & Article 370 should not be removed. It forms our foundation. There is no need to remove it. We are Hindustani but they (Article 35A & Article 370) are important for us,” the former CM and National Conference leader said in New Delhi.
“You can call the heads of the Mosques, Temples, and Gurudwaras and enquire about them, Mosques are for offering Namaz and in Gurudwaras they pray to Wahe guru. I am not concerned about it. Those who are in government ask them why they have sent such an order. What is the need for such an order? I too visit mosques. There are never any wrongdoing there,” he said.
This comes days after another former CM Mehbooba Mufti warned that any attempt to tinker with the special status of Jammu and Kashmir would blow up in its face
The Peoples Democratic Party president said, “We want to tell central government that tinkering with Article 35A is like picking up explosives. Not only will those hands burn which are raised to touch 35A but also the whole body will become ashes,” Mufti said at a function.
Mehbooba Mufti also urged political parties in the state to unite against Centre’s decision to rush an additional 10,000 troops. While the Centre has said that this has been done to foil the possibility of any Militant attack, Mufti has said an atmosphere of panic is being created.
Taking to Twitter, Mehbooba called out National Conference’s Farooq Abdullah in particular to organise an all-party meeting. “In light of recent developments that have caused a sense of panic amongst people in J&K, I have requested Dr Farooq Abdullah sahab to convene an all-party meeting,” she wrote. “Need of the hour is to come together and forge a united response. We the people of Kashmir need to stand up as one.”
Mehbooba may be calling for political parties in the state to unite but she has bickered and battled these very same political foes for years now. The PDP and NC have been bitter rivals in J&K, a state which continues to be under President’s Rule.
The Centre’s decision to deploy an additional 10,000 troops in the state, however, may unite political parties like PDP and NC as analysts say both are looking for maximum political mileage before the state election later this year. Sources in the Defence Ministry, however, have said that the main reason for additional troop deployment is to further strengthen the ongoing counter-terror operations in the Kashmir Valley.
Earlier on Monday, former CM of Jammu and Kashmir Farooq Abdullah spoke against the removal of Article 35A and Article 370 from the state, claiming that ‘they are Hindustani’ but the Articles are important for them. He further added that the Centre is creating ‘a situation of fear’ moreover threatened saying ‘wait and watch the consequences.’
He said, “They are creating a situation of fear. If they abrogate 35 A, they will have to abrogate every Article that has come by the President. We will have to go back to 1947. Abrogating the Article is against the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir. You watch and see the consequences, wait and see what will happen.”
Mufti even threatened violence over Article 35A on Sunday, speaking at a public meeting on the occasion of PDP’s foundation day at Srinagar, Mufti lashed out at NIA, criticised Centre’s anti terror operations and declared that bodies of those will be burned who will meddle with the status of Article 35-A in the valley. She also claimed that the Centre is using NIA to pick up anyone and one day they may also pick her up.
She said, “Meddling with Article 35 A is like touching ammunitions, people who are trying to touch Article 35 A will not only burn their hand but their entire body will be burned. Kashmiris need to protect what we have, we have our own constitution, we have a status which doesn’t allow people from outside to buy property here. The conditions that prevail the valley today are scary, JK bank has been finished and slowly they are trying to finish everything. We want to tell Delhi that touching Article 35 A will be like touching dynamite. We will defend Kashmir till our last breath.”
Meanwhile, Omar Abdullah in a tweet said that before calling a meet with senior leaders from regional parties in Jammu and Kashmir, it is ‘important to try to understand from the Central Govt about their intentions for the state.’ The Abdullah scion further clarifying the stand of NC said that it is significant how the Centre looks at the situation in the state.
Earlier in February, Mufti had said that no one will hold Indian flag in the valley if the status of 35 A is tampered. She had said that ‘any unnecessary fiddling with or tampering with Article 35 A will nullify the contract itself that legitimizes the union of J&K with India.’
Issuing a threat to the Centre she had said, “I want to tell them, don’t play with fire. Don’t fiddle with 35A. If you do so the consequences will be so grave that you’ll see such things which you would have not seen since 1947.”
Article 370 of the Constitution grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
Four petitions have challenged Article 35A’s legality in the Supreme Court on the grounds that it was never presented before Parliament and was implemented on the President’s orders in 1954.