PDP asks finance minister to retract comment on J-K, NC lashes out
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PDP asks finance minister to retract comment on J-K, NC lashes out

Haseeb Drabu was quoted by PTI as saying “Don’t see J&K as a conflict state and a political issue, it is a society which has social issues right now”.

india Updated: Mar 11, 2018 20:41 IST
Abhishek Saha
Abhishek Saha
Hindustan Times, Srinagar
PDP,J-K conflict,People’s Democratic Party
Jammu and Kashmir finance minister Haseeb Drabu (PTI File Photo)

A day after he was quoted in media reports as saying that Jammu and Kashmir should not be seen as a conflict state or a political problem, but as a society with social issues, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) on Sunday asked state finance minister Haseeb Drabu to retract his comment.

News agency PTI on Saturday quoted Drabu as saying at an event in Delhi, “Don’t see J&K as a conflict state and a political issue, it is a society which has social issues right now. We are trying to find our own space and we are going through a process which many other countries are also going through.”

PDP vice-president Sartaj Madni, in a press statement, asked party leader Drabu to “retract the statement immediately if it has been reported correctly in the media”.

The statement said, “The party recognises Jammu and Kashmir as a political issue and ever since its emergence the party has relentlessly been pursuing its resolution through reconciliation and dialogue, both at internal and external levels.”

Referring to the “vision of party patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed”, Madni said the resolution of Kashmir problem “formed core of his struggle and sacrifices”.

Madni also advised all senior leaders to “be careful in their statements and observations while commenting on the basic political philosophy and core agenda of the party”.

Later on Sunday evening, the PDP released the full text of Drabu’s speech, saying it “has been reported out of context”.

Drabu also responded to questions, explaining that the issue regarding Jammu and Kashmir was not only a “governmental issue but also a people’s issue”. He said, “It’s not only a political problem, there’s also a social issue involved. You realise how the society has been ravaged. I think people need to address that also. We have been struggling with the political issue for 70 years, so why don’t we look at some of the social issues.”

He added, “The whole text of the speech has been released and it should be very clear from that.”

Earlier in the day, the National Conference (NC) lashed out at the PDP. In a statement, the NC said that the comment was “a shocking and shameful U-turn by the party which, for years, sought support and votes primarily to help in the resolution of the political issue that has claimed thousands of lives and pushed the state into the throes of instability and suffering”.

NC general secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar said in the statement, “Till today we were led to believe that the PDP’s basis was the resolution of the political issue and its rhetorical advocacy for dialogue was a cornerstone of its narrative. Today, the same party suddenly declares that Kashmir is not a political issue and the problems we are facing are not any different from those being faced by people outside Kashmir.”

First Published: Mar 11, 2018 20:38 IST