Targeting article 370 is targeting pluralistic culture: Mehbooba Mufti

Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Monday said that those trying to dilute article 370 were actually targeting the pluralistic and eclectic culture of the state known as “Kashmiriyat”.

Mufti was concluding the debate in the assembly on grants to the home ministry.

Lashing out at voices against article 370 and article 35 which gives special status to the state in the union of Indian states, the Chief Minister said: “I see this as a conspiracy hatched by certain elements to target the composite culture of Kashmir.

“Those who talk of article 370 should understand that it is not about special status but its essence lies in the heterogenous and pluralistic culture of the state. If the soul of Kashmiriyat is punctured, nothing can be more anti-national,” she said.

The Chief Minister also said that “they don’t understand that Article 370 is a bridge between the state and India. It is because of Article 370 that the two nation theory based on religious lines was shunned and Jammu and Kashmir decided to go with India”.

She warned that the more people target article 370, “the more it will strengthen forces in the Valley who want to see only one faith, and one culture in Kashmir.”

In his speech, former chief minister and opposition National Conference leader Omar Abdullah had raised concerns saying that judicial means were being used to erode article 370.

He warned the state government that if steps were not taken to defend the special position of the state in the court, the Opposition will be forced to rake up the issue.

Omar had also accused Mehbooba Mufti of trying to implement the doctrine of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and not the agenda of alliance the PDP has signed with the BJP.

To which Mehbooba Mufti responded: “I don’t believe in Doval or Dulat doctrine, but if they help me in implementing the agenda of alliance, I will salute them”.

While speaking about the rehabilitation issue she said that there were certain elements who keep trying to add fuel to the fire over the issue of rehabilitation of displaced Kashmiri Pandits.

“We should not put conditions to the return of Kashmiri Pandits. They could not return to their roots without security. If we are not secure ourselves to move about without security, how can we ask them to go and live there without security?”