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Former Jammu and Kashmir CM Mehbooba Mufti targets Centre over Article 370 issue


Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Monday again targeted the Central Government, expressing its frustration on the issue of Article 370. Mufti said that the youth in the Kashmir valley doesn’t have a job and so they have no option but to take up arms.

She said that today the recruitments have started increasing in terrorist camps to find his political land. After almost a year and a half, the PDP leader came to Jammu, alleging that the Bharatiya Janata Party wants to sell the land of Jammu and Kashmir and today people from outside are working here but “our children are not getting jobs”.

Mufti, while stressing on improving relations with Pakistan, said that if India can talk to China on the border dispute, then why can’t India talk to Pakistan to solve the Kashmir matter. She added that avenues should be opened.

She said, “Former chief minister late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed emphasized on peace, friendship with Pakistan. Improving relations with Pakistan will stop firing along the border and solve people’s problems.” While addressing journalists in Jammu, Mehbooba said that our struggle for the restoration of Articles 370 and 35A will continue.

She added that after the removal of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir, the people of Jammu are also upset. “The local people were living their livelihood by removing the gravel and sand. Now the work of removing gravel and sand has also been given to the people of the outer states.”

Mufti further added, “We interacted with various sections of society in Jammu. Business in Jammu is in complete disarray. Employment is not available. The industry is not running, the vegetable gardens were shown by the BJP. Now the people of Jammu feel cheated. Article 370 was imposed by Maharaja Hari Singh.”

As per news agency PTI, Mufti on Monday asserted that she will hold the tricolour and the flag of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir together, saying as an MLA she had reaffirmed her faith in the J-K Constitution and the sovereignty and integrity of India as both are inseparable.

The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister had last month said that she was not interested in contesting elections or holding the national flag till the constitutional changes enforced on August 5 last year were rolled back, sparking protests in Jammu. “We are the people, especially in the Kashmir Valley, who upheld the tricolour high over the years at the cost of thousands of our workers who were martyred,” Mufti told reporters here at the end of her five-day visit to Jammu – her first after release from over one-year-long detention under the Pubic Safety Act (PSA).

Launching a scathing attack on the BJP, besides the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) without naming it, she said, “Those moving with half pants and where their leader sits do not hoist the tricolour (at their headquarters) and they are giving us lessons on the national flag.” She said her father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed picked up the national flag when they were being dismissed as ‘insects of filthy drain’ and subjected to social boycott.

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“We, including the BJP members, have taken an oath (in the assembly and council) that we will affirm our faith in the Constitution of J-K and will uphold the sovereignty and integrity of India. First, it was the J-K Constitution and then the sovereignty and integrity of the country. How is it, they cut one finger and leave the other, it is not right,” she said.

Asked whether she will hold the tricolour, Mufti said, “I had already replied that I have taken an oath of the J-K Constitution when I became the MLA for the first time and I affirm my faith to the Constitution of J-K and uphold the sovereignty and integrity of India – both of which are interlinked. J-K flag and Indian flag, I will uphold both these flags together.”



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