March 22, 2018

Trade Routes with Pakistan Shouldn't be Blocked, Says Mehbooba Mufti

30 July 2017, 01:29 | Marta Robbins

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The state chief said any tinkering with the article won't be accepted as it would weaken the forces accepting India. "I will not hesitate in saying that nobody will even carry the corpse of the national flag in Kashmir [if the article is scrapped]. Let me make it very clear", she said. She said that it is sad to see how television prime times projects India that widens the gap between India and Kashmir.

"When you feel your children are not safe within the State, you send them to different Indian states and this is a ray of hope for us", she said.

The plea said the Jammu and Kashmir government, under the guise of Article 35A and Article 370 which grants special autonomous status to the state, has been discriminating against non-residents (women married to non-Kashmiri) who are debarred from buying properties, getting a government job, joining any professional college run by the state government, or voting in the local elections. Mufti's remarks came after a non-profit, "We The Citizens", challenged the article's legality in the Apex Court on the basis that it was never presented before the parliament and was implemented on the president's orders.

"Kashmir is a mini India within India".

Maintaining that the BJP will stand by their "Agenda of Alliance" and wouldn't seek adjustment of the existing constitutional position, Sethi said "it is equally true that Art 35 A has created more harm to state than any other provision of law".

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Both the sides, she said while indicating towards the Centre and the state, may be became more greedy and the state had to suffer for the last 70 years.

"Rather than addressing the problem, we took administrative measures like dismissal of government or making charges of conspiracy, sedition...we had all these things against separatists which at times led to their hangings, weapons exclusive to Kashmir and more security measures and increasing number of security people". When I was growing, she represented India for me.

She appealed to all mainstream parties, including coalition partner BJP and the opposition National Conference and Congress to put their "heads together and find a way to end the bloodshed in Kashmir".

Mehbooba said she has been repeatedly stressing that ideas can not be jailed.

Lahore Declaration refers to the agreement signed between India and Pakistan after the Kargil War. "It will promote people-to-people contacts and lower the intensity of acrimony on the two sides of the divide", the CM said. "If at all there is an issue pertaining to Jammu and Kashmir, it is only of how to retrieve the part of the state that remains under the illegal occupation of Pakistan", he said.

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