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Mehbooba vows to shun Indian flag until J&K flag, special status are back

Mehbooba vows to shun Indian flag until J&K flag, special status are back

KARACHI: In her first press conference after being released from detention of 14 months, the chief of Occupied Kashmir’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Mehbooba Mufti said she would raise the Indian flag only when Jammu and Kashmir’s (J&K) flag, constitution and special status (under Article 370) were restored.

She also said on Friday that “those who feel we have abandoned Kashmir are mistaken”, according to NDTV.

In a blistering attack on India’s ruling party, Ms Mufti characterised it as a group of “robbers” who had stolen constitutionally-guaranteed rights of the people of Occupied Kashmir.

The former chief minister of erstwhile J&K said her party would not abandon the constitutional battle aimed at reclaiming the special status of the occupied region, which was withdrawn by the Indian government in a controversial decision last year.

She categorically said that she would hold the Indian flag in her hands only when the J&K flag was back, pointing to the erstwhile state’s flag placed in front of her alongside her party’s flag.

The Indian flag was relevant only because of the constitution. “But they themselves desecrated our (J&K) flag and the constitution,” NDTV’s website quoted her as saying at the presser.

She said that she would not contest any election until Article 370 is restored. “I have contested elections under our own constitution. How can I contest elections when that constitution has been abolished?” Ms Mufti went on to declare: “A robber may be mighty but he has to return the stolen goods. They demolished the constitution... Parliament had no power to take away [J&K’s] special status,” she told reporters.

Published in Dawn, October 24th, 2020

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