SRINAGAR: Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed said on Saturday that the “special status” of Jammu and Kashmir in the Indian Constitution should be maintained, as most pro-India political and “other regional outfits” want that.
Apparently referring to the decimation of the autonomous character of the state since 1953, Mufti said that there were some phases in the history of the state which “should not have happened”.
Mufti said the people of the state, a majority of whom are Muslims, had rejected
Pakistan’s founder Ali Mohammad Jinnah’s two-nation theory and chosen “the bigger country” India.
Drawing comparisons between India and Pakistan, Mufti said while “democracy has been flourishing in India for the past 70 years and its economy growing”, Pakistan is “still fighting a battle for its political existence”.
He said National Conference founder Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah had set the state on the track of development after “accepting the reality” (given up fight for an independent Kashmir) in 1975.
Mufti stressed on special status of the state at a time when the partner in his government, BJP, has said that its stand on Article 370, which guarantees the special status, has not changed. The BJP has repeatedly called for abrogation of the article and, in fact, the Narendra Modi assumed the charge of India’s prime minister, a junior minister in his office said that the process to abolish the article has “already begun”.
The CM also vowed that he will not rest till he made J&K an abode of peace, progress and amity.
He regretted that not much was done during the last 10 years, adding his government has drawn up a plan to not only give the infrastructure a fillip but “change the destiny of its people”.
Asking people to be patient and give his government a chance to prove itself, Mufti said five months is too short a time to judge the performance of a government.