“Tinkering would undermine basic structure of Constitution”

Srinagar: PDP president Mehbooba Mufti today said the deferment of hearing on the plea challenging the Constitutional validity of the Article 35A in the Supreme Court has given only an interim relief to the state’s natives. She made the remarks observing that the sanctity of the Constitutional provision must be preserved as there has been a consensus on it across the political spectrum. “Even though the deferment of hearing on Article 35A is not a solution, it has brought an interim relief to the people of J&K. But with uncertainty looming over its status, it has unleashed a wave of anxiety and panic among the people,” Mehbooba said in a series of tweets. The former chief minister said the Constitution of India is the supreme law of the country and it has conferred special status to J&K. “Any attempt to fiddle with it will amount to violating its basic structure,” she added. Mehbooba said Kashmiris are often blamed for alienating themselves from the rest of the country. “But it is actually the dynamics of the power politics which has made it difficult for the Centre to reconcile to the special status that J&K has held for more than 70 years,” she said. The people of J&K placed great faith in the country by rejecting the two-nation theory, which, she said, was divisive and driven by religion. “We instead chose a democratic and secular India … Now it is for the nation to respect that decision in its entirety. Instead of attempting to dilute J&K’s special status they should embrace it and treat Kashmiris with dignity,” she added. Mehbooba said one of the main purposes of the PDP-BJP alliance was to bridge the growing gap between the people of Jammu and Kashmir. “Surprisingly, it is the debate surrounding the danger of scrapping Article 35A that has made the impossible possible. “Be it Jammu or Srinagar, the mainstream parties or the separatists, there has been a consensus on preserving the sanctity of Article 35A,” she claimed.