Jammu and Kashmir Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu sacked after controversial remark

After Drabu says K-issue not political, angry PDP raps him

Jammu and Kashmir dispute is not a 'political issue', says Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu

The People's Democratic Party also called PDP has dropped his finance minister Haseeb Ahmed Drabu from the council of ministers.

The chief minister, who returned from the national capital to Jammu, shot off a letter to the state Governor N N Vohra requesting him to drop Drabu from her council of ministers with immediate effect, the PDP sources said.

Among other things, he said, "Don't see Jammu and Kashmir as a conflict state and a political issue; it is a society which has social issues right now.We are trying to find our own space and we are going through a process which many other countries are also going through". He (Drabu) is close to the Centre and the chief minister.

After Mufti Sayeed passed away, there were reports of cracks within the party. However, the video of his controversial statement went viral on social media, drawing flak towards the state government from a vast section of the Kashmir populace.

Separatist Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front leader Yasin Malik said Drabu's statement was aimed at distorting history.

The spokesman quoting Er Rasheed said that "even if every Kashmiri cries billion times a day that J&K is a political issue, Delhi firmly believes that J&K dispute is the baggage of unfinished partition of sub-continent and is scared of the fact that being a Muslim dominated state people of state may vote against India in case of a possible plebiscite". "These ministers, including Haseeb Drabu, are well read and know what they are talking about", Sagar said.

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Three days after his statement, his party on Monday hit out at him saying that J&K was a political problem and its resolution formed the Peoples Democratic Party's core agenda.

With Drabu out of the finance ministry, the race for the coveted portfolio began with the chief minister's trusted aide and Works Minister Naeem Akhtar and Education Minister Altaf Bukhari being seen as front-runners.

PDP Vice President Sartaj Madni had yesterday asked Drabu to retract the statement immediately.

Reacting to Drabu's removal, Omar said Drabu paid dearly for his statement and it would be interesting to see who replaces him.

Sagar further alleged that Drabu is being used by the BJP, the ruling alliance partner of PDP. "Drabu was one of them", said a source.

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