Trade Routes with Pakistan Shouldn't be Blocked, Says Mehbooba Mufti

Trade Routes with Pakistan Shouldn't be Blocked, Says Mehbooba Mufti

Trade Routes with Pakistan Shouldn't be Blocked, Says Mehbooba Mufti

"It is important to replace it with a better idea", she said.

"Any tinkering with the article will not be acceptable", she said.

Alluding to her coalition partner BJP's long-held position that calls for abrogation of Article 370 (even though it has been excluded from the agenda of their alliance), Mehbooba said, "If on the one hand we all agree that Kashmir should be resolved within the parameters of the Indian constitution, why then are we tearing apart the same constitution that granted special status to J&K?"

The petitioner has contended that though she has Kashmiri ancestry, Kashmir is the only place in India where she can not get a government job or buy property.

Speaking at an event in Kashmir on Friday, Mufti said, "When I was growing, Indira Gandhi represented India for me".

Discussing the idea of a joint legislature for undivided Jammu and Kashmir, she said, "There are seats reserved in our assembly for that Kashmir. But you are weakening those powers which are Indian and trust India and participate in elections (by challenging the Article 35A)", she said.

The Chief Minister's statement came a day after she had warned the Central government against diluting Article 370, which grants special status to the state.

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"These administrative measures have not helped us to address the idea of Kashmir...", Mufti said. "There should be (full) body scanners (for trucks) so that we know what is coming in and what is going out from here", she said.

"There have been special provisions in the Constitution of India for the state of Jammu and Kashmir".

However, Mufti was all praises for "the man of the moment", Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who, she believes, can be the true harbinger of peace and stability in The Valley.

"If today we aren't satisfied with what Kashmiris are asking for, what is in the mind of a stone-throwing teenager but there is something behind why he is throwing stones and we have to understand that", she said.

The tussle amid times of strife in the northern state could lead to more problems for both parties, while the National Conference - led by Farooq Abdullah and Omar - might look to take advantage of it. "I want to see that India which accepted us on our conditions".

Referring to her late father, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, she said he would often say that Kashmir is "besieged" and should be set free by the opening of roads like Kargil-Skardu, Jammu-Sialkot, and Leh-Xinjiang. The chief minister said the Centre should tread the path taken by former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and revive the Lahore pact between India and Pakistan.

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