A day after senior PDP leader and state Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu said Jammu and Kashmir should not be seen as a political problem, opposition National Conference (NC) today termed it "shocking and totally unrealistic", saying it was a total sell-out by the ruling party.
"PDP's declaration that Kashmir is not a political issue but a social issue is a shocking and shameful u-turn by the party which, for years, sought support and votes primarily to help in the resolution of the political issue that has claimed thousands of lives and pushed the state in the throes of instability and suffering.
"It is a totally unrealistic, incorrect, misleading statement and is akin to distorting the historical facts of the state. It is a total sell-out by the party and this outrageous statement is the last nail in the coffin for the PDP," NC general secretary Ali Muhammad Sagar said at a press conference here.
The NC general secretary said Drabu's declaration was a serious development that called into question the very basis of PDP's politics over the years and the promises it had been making to the people of the state.
"If the PDP thinks that Kashmir is not a political issue but is according to them a social issue, the very basis of the politics of the PDP and that of its founder late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed comes into question. Till today, we were led to believe that PDP's basis was the resolution of the political issue and its rhetorical advocacy for dialogue was a cornerstone of its narrative.
"Today, the same party suddenly declares that Kashmir is not a political issue and the problems we are facing are not any different from those being faced by people outside Kashmir. We condemn this statement in the strongest of terms as it reeks of fallacy, delusion and indicates an enormous ideological u-turn for the party," Sagar said.
"Mehbooba needs to answer some basic questions. If J&K is not a political issue then what is the basis of the suffering and conflict in the state? Why have thousands of people lost their lives if Kashmir is not a political issue? Did they lose their lives to a social issue? India and Pakistan have fought four wars over Kashmir. In PDP's opinion what is the cause of these wars and of confrontation between two countries if Kashmir is not a political issue? Is this a formal abandonment of the party's 'Self Rule' document?" Sagar questioned.
The NC general secretary asked why the PDP stressed on dialogue and resolution in its "now abandoned Agenda of the Alliance the PDP's common minimum programme with its alliance partner the BJP" if the party believed that Kashmir was not a political issue.
"The PDP has time and again used the rhetoric of aspiring to become the bridge between New Delhi and Islamabad. If there is no political issue what gap does PDP want to bridge? Why did the central government appoint an interlocutor if the PDP believes Kashmir is not a political issue?" he said.
Sagar asked the PDP to explain the context and the aim behind such a statement.
He said the NC would always struggle for a dignified and acceptable resolution of the Kashmir Issue which is inherently and primarily a political issue.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)