Sharpening her attack on the BJP-led Central government, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti on Thursday said Article 370 is a “matter of death and life for every Kashmiri”, and that “the whole point behind (talk of) scrapping Article 370 is to attack the Muslim character of the state, (and) to change the state’s demography”.
“If they (Centre) revoke Article 370, which is the foundation of our relation with India, then this relation becomes illegitimate and illegal. If they do so, then it would be as good as an occupational force here in J&K,” Mufti told mediapersons after a rally in North Kashmir on Thursday.
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Before that, she had stated at a party workers’ meet that if guarantees provided for the state under the Constitution are removed, it will “force us to reconsider whether we would like to continue with you (India)”.
Mufti’s latest statements come in reaction to BJP president Amit Shah’s remarks last week that Article 35A, which gives special rights to J&K, may be abrogated by 2020.
Former CM and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah, state Congress president G A Mir Peoples Conference chief Sajad Lone are among leaders of other non-BJP mainstream political parties in J&K who have criticised Shah’s statement.
At the rally, Mufti said, “Amit Shah-sahib, Mehbooba Mufti is telling you that the day you will revoke Article 370.you will be an occupational force in Jammu and Kashmir. You will have no right in J&K.” Pointing out that J&K is a Muslim-majority state, Mufti said every Kashmiri will fight until the end to fight for Constitutional right.
She told The Indian Express on Thursday evening, “The very basis of accession of Jammu and Kashmir with the rest of the country is based on certain conditions. It is a special relationship. If the condition — like Article 370 — is scrapped, it means the whole relationship becomes illegitimate… Then India as a country becomes as an occupational force in J&K, which is true of Israel in Gaza.”