Mehbooba Mufti, Sajad Lone, Shah Faesal caution Centre against tinkering with J&K’s special status

Amid the growing grip in Kashmir in the wake of build-up of security forces, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti late on Friday night led a delegation of political leaders from different parties to Governor Satya Pal Malik, urging him that New Delhi shouldn’t tinker with unique identity of Muslim majority state of Jammu and Kashmir.

In a dramatic turn of events, Mehbooba, late Friday night, addressed media, urging Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to tinker with the State’s special status. “The Prime Minister must ensure that the sacrifices of people of Jammu and Kashmir do not go waste. I appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to tinker with J&K’s special status,” she said.

Later Mehbooba, accompanied by her party leaders left for meeting with National Conference President Farooq Abdullah at his residence at Gupkar Road. However she was stopped by police at the entrance of his Gupkar residence.

She was however allowed later to visit the NC leader’s residence. Later she drove to Church Lane and held parley with Peoples Conference chairman Sajad Lone and Peoples United Front leader Shah Faesal, at Lone’s residence. Among other who were present in the meeting included PC leader Imran Ansari and PDP General Secretary Ghulam Nabi Lone (Hanjura)

The leaders then drove to Raj Bhavan to meet the Governor Satya Pal Malik. Coming out of the meeting Mehbooba said they apprised the Governor about the prevailing “scary situation” in Kashmir.

“He (the Governor) is the constitutional head of the state and it is his right to inform the people about the troops’ deployment and the orders and advisories issued by the government,” she said.

Mehbooba said they told the Governor that J&K was a Muslim majority state which decided to join Union of India after it was promise that its unique identity will be protected and preserved.

“The governor assured us that he will take up the matter with Delhi and told us nothing was going to happen,” Mehbooba said. “But, to be honest, we are not satisfied with his assurance given the troops’ deployment and the advisory asking tourist and Yatris to leave Kashmir.”

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Sajad Lone said the issue at stake was “bigger than all of us put together”. “The issue at stake is much bigger than all of us together and there is hardly any space for anybody to isolate anybody. We are committed to stand united with all parties to defend and safeguard the special identity of J&K,” Lone told reporters when asked whether Abdullah’s meeting with Prime Minister has isolated other political parties.

Lone was part of delegation which met Governer Satya Pal Malik here late night. He had on Wednesday said he is ready to join hands with “others” to protect special status of Jammu and Kashmir. “I will unconditionally support collective efforts for protecting special status of J&K. I am ready to go to anyone and anywhere for supporting the collective efforts,” he had said.