No fiddling with Article 370, says Mehbooba Mufti

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Mehbooba Mufti, president of Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party, said on Saturday the first point of her party’s agenda of alliance with the BJP was that there will be no fiddling with Article 370, which gives special status to the militancy-hit state.

She stressed that the idea of Jammu and Kashmir being an integral part of India should go beyond the ownership of land.

 

“We have been looking at Kashmir through the prism of security. We need to go beyond that,” Mufti said .

She added that there is no alternative to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s policy of reaching out to the people of Kashmir by accommodating Pakistan.

“My father went against the tide. He took a chance because we need to connect between ourselves, respect people’s mandate,” Mufti said.

“We need to be wholesome and accommodating about these things (relations with Pakistan).”

“If we want to deal with terrorism, we have to have cooperation with Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh… We were importing onion from Pakistan even during wars. We need India-Pakistan cooperation to fight terrorism,” she added.

She was speaking at the session with Sonia Singh.

“Kashmiris have become suspects everywhere. Their reality has been undermined by media’s coverage of the state,” Mufti said.

“Media needs to introspect. No one shows August 15 celebrations in Kashmir,” she said.

Commenting on the Islamic State, Mufti said the militant group was against the very principle of Islam.

“Young people carrying ISIS (an acronym for Islamic State) flags in Kashmir don’t even know what it means,” she said.

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