PDP removes Drabu from cabinet for Kashmir 'apolitical issue' remark

Jammu and Kashmir finance minister Haseeb Drabu

For, Kashmir is not just a political problem, but a social issue.

"Drabu should tell people if Kashmir is not a conflict zone, then why we have five lakh army and para military forces stationed in this Kashmir?" "It is the day when we have to reiterate the pledge to take the ongoing freedom struggle to its logical conclusion".

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Monday chose to drop senior PDP leader and Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu from her council of ministers over his controversial remarks on Jammu and Kashmir.

Drabu will be the first senior leader to be removed from the cabinet.

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"Don't see J&K as a conflict state and a political issue, it is a society which has social issues right now".

Madni said the PDP was committed to pushing its agenda for peaceful and dignified resolution of the Kashmir problem which alone would lessen the tension in the region and release huge financial resources of the two countries for development of their economies. Acknowledging the difficulties in taking the resolution issue speedily forward, he said PDP feels highly perturbed at the obvious lack of urgency in resolving this issue and reiterates its commitment to uphold partys' stated objectives in which the resolution of the political issue has a paramount importance. He also asked Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti: "What message are you trying to convey when the situation is so tense in the Valley?" "We seriously need to look at in terms of how it is a society that is in search for itself", Drabu was quoted as saying by the Indian Express newspaper.

A senior government official confirmed to The Hindu that the Jammu and Kashmir Finance Minister has been asked "to step down from his portfolio".