If New Delhi thinks Kashmir issue is not an issue, it will eat you up: Mehbooba Mufti

In her first press conference after her release from 14-month long detention, former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti said the Kashmir issue is an issue and if New Delhi thinks it is not an issue, “the issue will eat you up”.

Mufti who had the erstwhile J&K state’s flag in front of her during her press conference, announced she wouldn’t contest elections as long as the constitution of Jammu and Kashmir was not restored.

PDP president Mufti said that she will raise the Tricolour only when the J&K state flag is also restored.

“My flag is in front of me. When this flag (J&K flag) is restored to us, we will raise the other flag (Tricolour) also. But until that happens, we will not hold any other flag in our hands,” she told reporters.

Mufti accused of Narendra Modi government of trying to replace this country’s Constitution with the BJP manifesto and she said “this will not last long.”

“The people of Jammu and Kashmir are expendable to them [the Centre], what they want is territory,” Mufti further criticised.

Referring Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s comments on Article 370 during his rally in Bihar ahead of the state Assembly elections, Mufti claimed that the PM Modi brought up the topic to get votes as he did not want to discuss real issues.

She said: “They say you can buy land in Jammu and Kashmir, we have abrogated Article 370. Then they said they will give free vaccines. Today, PM Modi had to speak of Article 370 for votes. This government has failed to solve the issues of this country.”

Former CM Mufti took a dig at the parties in mainland India and said they stayed silent after the abrogation of special status, because they thought it did not affect them.

She told reporters that the Kashmiri parties were not comfortable with today’s India, where Dalits and minorities are not safe, and the BJP has tried to loot the dignity of Kashmir.

“We had acceded to a liberal, democratic, secular India. They have demonised Kashmiris, Muslims and even Dalits for that matter in the media and when they fail at anything, they remember Kashmir and Article 370,” Mufti said.