SRINAGAR: Five months after the scrapping of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and bifurcation of the state into two Union territories by the Centre, mainstream political leaders in the Valley are talking of moving beyond Article 370 and basing their politics on the demand for restoration of statehood to J&K and protection of the rights of its residents.
Former deputy chief minister and Democratic Nationalist Party (DNP) president Ghulam Hassan Mir said it was time to move beyond Article 370. “We have to move beyond Article 370. It should not have been scrapped as it was sacred for us. However, unfortunately, it has gone. Should I keep crying for it or move forward,” he said.
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Advising politicians against indulging in negative politics, Mir said, “If our land and job rights are protected, will it not be an achievement?” Mir, who is one of the founding members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said their politics will now be based on the demand for the restoration of statehood, protection of land and job rights of J&K residents and revival of tourism and trade. Mir was detained after the scrapping of Article 370 and bifurcation of J&K state on August 5 and released sometime back.
Former PDP leader and ex-Finance Minister Altaf Bukhari has also said that people now needed to move beyond Article 370. “The pain of the loss of Article 370 will never go away but life goes on. One must try to fight for things that one can get,” he said.
Bukhari and Mir have joined hands, and along with a dozen former PDP leaders — some of who were detained — met Lt Governor and envoys of 16 countries who visited the Valley a few days back.
PDP Patron and former deputy chief minister Muzaffar Hussain Baig has also been toeing the same line.