PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Monday said if the people of Jammu and Kashmir unite like India did against the British then getting back its special status will not be a huge task. In 2019, the BJP-led Centre had abrogated Article 370, which granted special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, and bifurcated it into union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

The former chief minister also said the focus of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is on the resolution of the Kashmir issue. “Our identity and our existence is at stake. It is not about Article 370 and 35A, it is about the issue of Jammu and Kashmir. Our goal posts are changing. They think the people will forget the basic issue and talk about Article 370,” she said.

“We are not going to raise this issue again and again, its (Article 370) restoration is a reality and it will happen today, tomorrow or day after, but, along with that, the PDP will continue its struggle for the resolution of the Kashmir issue for which so many people have sacrificed their lives,” Mehbooba said.

She was speaking at a function at the PDP headquarter’s here in which Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Movement vice president Syed Iqbal Tahir joined the party. 

The PDP chief said if the people of Jammu and Kashmir unite, “we can achieve more than” the erstwhile state’s special status.

“When people get united, like the whole of India had got against British… Similarly, if people of Jammu and Kashmir get united, then getting back Article 370 will not be a huge task. In fact, we can achieve more than that and God willing, we will,” she said.

Mehbooba said Jammu and Kashmir would not have become a part of India if the country’s first prime minister Jawahar Lal Nehru would not have been there.

“If this situation would have been in 1947, then Jammu and Kashmir will never have joined this India which they want to create where they want to end secularism, democracy… perhaps we would not have become a part of this if Jawahar Lal Nehru was not there. Had there been no Nehru, J-K would not have become a part of this country,” she said.

On the recent order by the Ganderbal deputy commissioner banning the use of electric heaters, which was later revoked, Mufti said it was shameful.

“The biggest share of the electricity from our state goes to the NHPC pool on which the country and its industries run. It is because of that electricity that the BJP or other parties announce free electricity to people in other states,” she said.

Welcoming Tahir into the PDP, Mehbooba said her party needs educated youth, especially at a time when Jammu and Kashmir is passing through a difficult phase.