In a smart and surprise political move the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had dropped Haseeb Drabu from the council of ministers over his controversial remarks that Kashmir “isn’t a political issue” but a society with “social issues”.
Drabu who formerly headed the Jammu and Kashmir Bank was currently serving as minister for Finance, Culture and Labour and Employment in the incumbent coalition government led by chief minister Mehbooba Mufti.
Addressing an event organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry in New Delhi on March 9, Drabu has triggered a controversy by claiming that the dispute in the state is “not a political issue”. “The Kashmiri society faces social issues and the problem should be treated as such”, he said.
The off the cuff statement earned him ire of mainstream opposition, pro-freedom leaders as well as the trade bodies, whereas his own party distanced itself from the Finance Minister’s remarks asking him to explain and retract his statement, which was “contradictory” to its stand. The National Conference criticised Drabu’s comments and asked the ruling party to explain his statements. “If Kashmir is not a political problem, then why is interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma here and why [have] India and Pakistan fought four wars since 1947,” senior NC leader Ali Mohammad Sagar said. He also asked Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti: “What message are you trying to convey when the situation is so tense in the Valley?”
Reiterating his party’s stand on the issue, the PDP Vice President Sartaj Madni said the party recognizes Jammu and Kashmir as a political issue and ever since its advent the party has relentlessly been pursuing its resolution through reconciliation and dialogue, both at internal and external levels.
PDP Vice President said it was unfortunate that the problem was seen by some forces in the sub-continent as “a mere management assignment” to contain peoples’ aspirations and the commitment to the resolution “is being aimlessly undermined”. He also advised all the senior leaders to be careful in their statements and observations while commenting on the basic political philosophy and core agenda of the party.
The PDP’s recent move is no doubt a reflection of political reality but it is hard to believe such power hungry political leeches who are notorious for changing colours like chameleon to safeguard their personal and political benefits. On one hand they talk about the disputed nature of the Kashmir issue while on the other they don’t hesitate in sharing power with those who are hell bent upon to wipe out identity of Kashmiri Muslims.
Like NC, the PDP, over the past few years has also lost its sheen and credibility amongst the masses in Kashmir. The party had miserably failed to protect life and honour of its own people is now struggling hard to protect its support base in Kashmir. And Drabu’s removal from his portfolio is seen as a politically motivated move on the part of ruling party to retain its vote bank and regain its credibility, whatsoever.
Unfortunately, the so-called mainstream political parties be it PDP, Congress, NC or any other group, all of them have caused a great harm to ongoing struggle for right to self-determination. Usually, they are found talking high about the political aspirations of the people but practically they have become stooges of occupation. The history is that their role in Kashmir is no less and no more than a collaborator. They are chips of the same block whose core agenda is to advance Indian agenda in Kashmir.