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PDP-BJP government resorting to all means to dilute Article 370: National Conference

SRINAGAR: Opposition National Conference today said the PDP-BJP coalition government is resorting to “all means” to dilute Article 370 of the Constitution, which guarantees special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and warned any such “misadventure” would be met with stiff resistance by the party and the people of the state.

“The PDP-BJP government was resorting to all possible means to dilute Article 370 and circumvent the State Subject Law and all such misadventures would be met with stiff resistance by the NC and the people of the State,” NC State Spokesperson Junaid Azim Mattu said here in a statement.

Arguing that granting State Subject rights to West Pakistan Refugees is tantamount to diluting the law, Mattu termed as “ridiculous” PDP leader and Education Minister Naeem Akhtar’s statement yesterday that false and contrived impressions were being created regarding the change of their status.

“It clearly implies the state government does not apply its mind to ascertain facts before issuing baseless statements that try to deflect responsibility from the alliance’s nefarious designs,” he said.

“Akhtar would be well served to read the statement of his alliance partner BJP’s state president Sat Sharma where he had clearly stated the decision to issue domicile certificates to WPRs was only the first step towards granting them full citizenship and property rights,” the NC spokesman said.

He said rather than “misdirecting” their frustration after being exposed, PDP should realise that its ally was using the WPR issue as a “covert opportunity’ to dilute and circumvent the State Subject Laws of Jammu and Kashmir.

“Sharma’s comments are self-explanatory,” he said.

“Either Akhtar was not able to comprehend what Sharma said or he does not want to acknowledge that his party has sold its soul to the BJP to remain in power,” he said.

The NC Spokesperson said neither PDP nor BJP was a well-wisher of the West Pakistan Refugees and wanted to exploit their issue to further their own political agenda.

“While we have always empathised and will continue to empathise with the (WPRs), granting them State Subject rights is tantamount to diluting the law and leaving it meaningless.

“That is something we won’t allow at any cost and neither PDP nor BJP should have any doubts about that,” he said.