Srinagar: The second day of the special session of JK Assembly on Wednesday saw Awami Itehad Party (AIP) leader Engineer Rasheed accusing Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu of using GST to further his ambition of becoming the Governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
“We know you are eyeing to become the RBI governor,” Rasheed said, pointing towards Drabu. “And we know that it will be a reward for your sell-out of Kashmiri interests for GST.”
Referring to the National Investigative Agency (NIA) raids on houses of pro-freedom leaders and prominent businessmen, Rasheed said that the Mehbooba Mufti government had lost the moral right to be in office. “Mehbooba ji, you had no idea even after ten hours that NIA had carried out raids. We know that this extension of the domain of NIA to the state is itself dilution of autonomy,” Rasheed said.
He said that Kashmir was a disputed territory and a referendum was the only solution to the dispute.
A few BJP leaders in the House became infuriated at this and said that Kashmir was an integral part of India. They alleged that Rasheed had held meetings with the Intelligence Bureau.
Rasheed shot back, “If you are so sure that Kashmir is integral part of India, come with me to Lal Chowk and shout that it is so. Move without security and tell the people that you are in India.”
“If I am a traitor for demanding the right to self determination, then former Indian prime minister Jawahar Lal Nehru was also a traitor,” he added.
He further lambasted Delhi-based journalists and academics for constantly referring to Kashmiris as Wahabis and Salafis. “Being a Wahabi is not a crime. I am also a Salafi. Nobody has a right to pass any bad remarks towards Islam,” Rasheed said.
While lashing out at BJP legislators for praising Dogra ruler Hari Singh, Rasheed asked them to visit the martyrs’ graveyard on 13th July. “For two consecutive years, deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh has not visited the martyrs’ graveyard. He should come this year to prove his loyalty towards the (J&K) state,” Rasheed said.
Speaking about GST, Rasheed said that people were thankful to New Delhi for bringing GST, as it had exposed New Delhi not only before people of India but before the entire world. He said that the constitutional hurdles in extending GST to J&K are ample proof that J&K is not India’s integral part.
“If New Delhi is really worried about financial implications of GST not being implemented in J&K, it must allow people of J&K to have trade with central Asia via Azad Kashmir. New Delhi has caged the people of J&K and is depriving them of their political, financial and human rights,” he said.
He accused the National Conference of ditching people by burying the Plebiscite Front and approving the 1975 accord. “PDP is shamelessly burying every right of the people of the state,” Rasheed said.