Srinagar: In a swift disavowal of finance minister Haseeb Drabu’s statement that Kashmir was not a political but social issue, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Sunday asked him to immediately take back his words.
In a public statement, PDP Vice President Mohammad Sartaj Madni asked Drabu to retract from the statement immediately. However, the PDP attached the condition that the minister will retract only from his statement “if it has been reported correctly in the media”.
Madni also advised all senior party leaders to be careful in their statements.
The PDP said it recognises Jammu & Kashmir as a political issue and the party has relentlessly been pursuing the resolution of this political issue through reconciliation and dialogue.
Recalling the vision of party patron the late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Madni said that the resolution of the Kashmir dispute formed the core of his struggles and sacrifices.
On Friday, Drabu had said at an event themed “Kashmir: the way forward”, that people should introspect over the nature and origins of the situation in the state and how it could be resolved.
“Don’t see J&K as a conflict state and a political issue; it is a society which has social issues right now. We are trying to find our own space and we are going through a process which many other countries are also going through,” Drabu said at the event.
The PDP Vice President said it was unfortunate that the problem in Kashmir is seen by some forces in the subcontinent as a mere management task. Acknowledging the difficulties in working towards a resolution of the Kashmir issue, he said the PDP feels highly perturbed at the lack of urgency in resolving the issue and reiterates its commitment to uphold the party’s stated objectives, in which the resolution of the political issue has paramount importance.
Madni said that any impression of the political issue being swept under the carpet can have a very negative impact. In such a scenario, he said, the sufferings of the state’s people will immensely compound and the coming generation will move out of the space of reconciliation.
Madni said the PDP is committed to push its agenda of peaceful and dignified resolution of the Kashmir problem, which alone will lessen the tension in the region and free the huge financial resources of Pakistan and India for development of their economies.