Srinagar, March 11 (IANS) The remark of state Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu that “Jammu and Kashmir is neither a political issue nor a conflict state” on Sunday evoked strong criticism from both mainstream and separatist leaders.
Opposition National Conference leader Ali Muhammad Sagar said the Chief Minister must immediately issue a clarification whether or not her Finance Minister’s remarks reflect the stand of her party.
Separatist leader Muhammad Yasin Malik said the statement was proof of what he alleged was the “sold out mentality of the ruling PDP”.
Mirwaiz Umer Farooq-led Hurriyat Conference in a statement said: “Such falsehood is part of the propaganda being deliberately built to mislead and misdirect audiences in order to dilute the reality of the Kashmir dispute and weaken the discourse on Kashmir”.
Drabu had said in New Delhi that “J&K is not a conflict state and nor a political issue but a society with social issues in search of itself”.
Meanwhile, sources in the Peoples Democratic Party said Drabu has been asked to withdraw the statement as this does not reflect the stand of the Party.
According to the state Revenue and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Abdul Rehman Veeri the party’s disciplinary committee has sent a letter to the minister which said: “Your statement has the potential of creating a serious dent to the image and credibility of the party. Therefore you are advised to explain as to why statement detrimental to the party interests was made.”