Peoples Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti today said her party will continue the fight to “bring back the state flag” and “won’t abandon Kashmir’s battle” for special status, a year after the centre divided the state into two Union Territories and scrapped special status under Article 370 of the Constitution.
After spending over a year under arrest, Ms Mufti said, “Those who feel we will abandon Kashmir are mistaken.”
“A robber may be mighty, but he has to return the stolen goods. They demolished the Constitution… Parliament had no power to taken away special status,” she told reporters. “Dictatorship will not continue for long,” Ms Mufti said.
After former chief minister Farooq Abdullah of the National Conference was also released following a nearly year-long stay under arrest, key leaders including Ms Mufti and Sajjad Lone have come together to fight for the restoration of Article 370.
Called the “People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration”, the freshly minted grouping also seeks a dialogue between all stakeholders for resolution of Kashmir.
“Even if leaders need to shed their blood for the cause, Mehbooba Mufti will be first to offer it,” the PDP chief said today. “We are not comfortable with today’s India,” she told reporters.
Talking about her detention, she said,” In jail, I thought the PDP was over, but once I am out, (I find) the party is intact.”
Most of the political leaders in Kashmir Valley had been in custody for long – it was part of the preventive measures against backlash taken by the centre last August, a day before making the huge announcement in parliament.
“Our battle is a constitutional battle, we want the government of India to return to the people of the state the rights they held before 5th August 2019,” Farooq Abdullah had said on October 15, the day the Gupkar Declaration alliance was formed.