In an apparent snub to the RSS and her alliance partner BJP, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Monday, without naming any of them, said that those calling for scrapping of Article 370 are similar to those “forces” — an apparent reference to hardline militant groups — who believe that the Kashmir issue can be solved only by making the state, especially the Valley, home to people of only one culture and one religion.
Justifying the apprehensions of National Conference leader Omar Abdullah that several groups have, of late, been approaching the court against the state’s own laws, Mehbooba, winding up the discussion on demand for grants, said in the Assembly: “There is no doubt that there are, in the country, certain forces who believe that scrapping Article 370 will solve the Kashmir problem…that every problem will be solved. These are like the forces who believe that destroying the true culture of Kashmir and making it a place for one culture and one religion will solve the Kashmir problem,”
Referring to the recent Supreme Court ruling that the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002 (SARFAESI Act) will be applicable to J&K, Omar Abdullah had on Saturday cautioned the government against attempts by certain quarters taking to judicial recourse to dilute the state’s special position under the Constitution. “Those who think the BJP has abandoned its agenda on the the abrogation of Article 370 are foolish,” he had said.
Mehbooba sought support even from opposition benches in the House to safeguard the state’s special position and also in taking back Kashmiri Pandits to the Valley. “I am worried to see that this issue is being exploited day after day in Kashmir. The intentions are different. Kashmir is Kashmir and it can never become Afghanistan or Syria. Kashmir is a heaven and its real culture is Kashmiriyat and how can we let this slip out of our hands?” she added.
“So that we can defend it here, you have to help us,” she said appealing to the House. “Howsoever we may defend this in the court, we have to defend it here. It’s our responsibility, we need to do this unitedly,” she said.