Srinagar: Warning the Centre of consequences, former Jammu & Kashmir chief Mehbooba Mufti said the frontier state’s relation with India would cease to exist if Article 370 – which guarantees special status to J&K – is scrapped. Without this legislation, she claimed, India will have to renegotiate its ties with the “Muslim majority” Valley.
Describing Article 370 as a “bridge” connecting Kashmir with India, Mehbooba said if the said law is abrogated, then the relations between Srinagar and New Delhi would be redefined, “with new conditions”. Without mincing words, the PDP chief said J&K’s relation with India “will be over” if Article 370 is scrapped.
Mehbooba’s warning comes a day after Union Minister Arun Jaitley penned a blog on Facebook advocating the repeal of Article 370. Calling it “constitutionally vulnerable”, the BJP veteran blamed the legislation for the lack of development, jobs and economic growth in the Valley.
“No investor is willing to set up an industry, hotel, private educational institutions or private hospitals since he can neither buy land or property nor can his executives do so,” Jaitley said, claiming that J&K will not be able to raise resources if the law is not revoked in the long run.
His remarks had immediately drawn a sharp reaction from forme CM and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah. “If you want to debate Article 370 and Article 35A, then I am sorry, there will be questions raised on the accession as well, because accession was on these very terms,” he said.
Notably, Article 370 was incorporated via a constitutional amendment in 1954, as per the terms of J&K’s accession to India.