People’s Democratic Party chief and former Chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti said when I was detained illegally, I thought it would not last more than a few days. But when the authorities asked me to sign a bond that could prevent me from talking about Article 370 and the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, I raised my voice before the authorities.
Mehbooba Mufti said Articles 370 and 35A were the guardians of the special status of the state, the constitutional guarantee given to the accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India.
She said that Despite being a Muslim-majority state, Jammu and Kashmir rejected the two-nation ideology and joined secular India under special conditions. Violation of these conditions is against the basic principle of accession.
Mehbooba Mufti was initially housed at Hari Nawas in Srinagar, an investigative center in the 1990s. The place is now a state guesthouse. “I spent the first three weeks without any contact with my family and I had no idea what was going on outside,” I spent most of my time reading books, She said in an interview with BBC Urdu.
Mehbooba said, “Ask any reputed lawyer in India and he will tell you that the illegal repeal of Article 370, both constitutionally and legally, has called into question Jammu and Kashmir’s relationship with India.” My statement is based on legal facts but unfortunately everything that tells painful facts is called enemy of the country.
“Jammu and Kashmir has seen many rounds of elections and we have seen that it has not had much impact on this issue,” she said.
The DDC election diverts attention from the real issue which has created a sense of betrayal and alienation among the people of Jammu and Kashmir, Mehbooba said.
For the first time, seven mainstream opposition political parties have formed an alliance called the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) to fight the DDC elections together.
The main objective of this alliance is to fight for the restoration of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. Mehbooba Mufti’s party is part of this alliance.
“At a time when most other sources of peaceful dissent have been suppressed, the PAGD is perhaps the only front that is fighting vigorously against the government’s nefarious plans for Jammu and Kashmir,” She said.
She added “We have decided to contest as a unit to keep the BJP and its proxies away”.