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Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Monday decided to sack senior PDP leader and Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu from her Council of Ministers over his controversial remarks about the state.
The chief minister has sent a letter to Governor NN Vohra informing him that she had decided to remove Drabu, reported media.
“Jammu and Kashmir shouldn’t be seen as a conflict state or a political problem, but as a society with social issues,” Drabu had said at an event in New Delhi on Friday.
Drabu then asked people to “introspect” over the nature and origins of the situation in the state and how it could be resolved.
“We are trying to find our own space and we are going through a process which many other countries are also going through,” the minister had said.
“It (J&K) is not a political issue as far as I can see. They have been barking up the wrong tree for the last 50 or 70 years by talking about the politics of it, that the political situation has never improved. We seriously need to look at in terms of how it is a society that is in search for itself.”
Drabu’s remarks had come under fire from both mainstream and separatist leaders.
The Peoples Democratic Party had on Sunday asked Drabu to explain his position since the statement he made, at an event organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry in New Delhi on March 9, was a negation of the stated position of the party.
Both mainstream and separatist parties had criticised the PDP for Drabua’s remarks asserting that the statement was proof of the “political sellout made by the party to remain in power”.
The PDP, however, on Sunday said that it recognises the state as a political issue and ever since its advent the party has relentlessly been pursuing its resolution through reconciliation and dialogue, both at internal and external levels.
Mirwaiz Umer Farooq-led Hurriyat Conference put out a statement, saying, “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’s own party’s disciplinary committee sent him a letter saying: “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.”
After news of the minister’s sacking broke, former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said it would be “interesting to see who replaces him in the Finance Ministry.”
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