SRINAGAR: In a major shot in the arm to Jammu& Kashmir’s main Opposition People’s Democratic Party(PDP)noted economist and former chairman of J&K Bank, Haseeb Drabu on Tuesday joined the party ahead of the forthcoming Assembly elections in the state.
“He (Drabu) wrote to PDP president Mehbooba Mufti about his desire to join the party,” a PDP spokesman said.
As for the decision to make a foray into politics Drabu said, “I want to leave the perch of punditry and slug it out in the noise and chaos of politics. I have earlier had the occasion to work for the people of J&K. Not only was it professionally an absolute privilege but personally also it was most satisfying. I want to participate and, to the extent that I can, contribute to the overall change by working within aegis of the PDP. I do hope you will provide me the opportunity to do so.”
“For the last 60 years, life in Kashmir has been a battlefield, not only physically but intellectually, emotionally and morally. An ordinary life has been a constant witness to pain, anguish, despair, and humiliation. This can’t be allowed to continue,” he added.
Welcoming Drabu into the party, PDP patron and former J&K Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed said he had ably assisted the state in its post-2002 economic reconstruction and financial restructuring.
Mufti added that the economist-banker had played a key role in all the major economic initiatives like the PM’s reconstruction programme, ADB financing and establishment of the ERA.
Incidentally, it was during Mufti’s tenure as J&K Chief Minister that Drabu became chairman of J&K Bank in 2004.