There is an idea of Azadi, but it needs to be replaced with Self Rule, Autonomy: Mehbooba

New Delhi: Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday while speaking at the Express Adda, told Journalist Muzamil Jaleel that the idea of ‘Azaadi’ (Freedom) is real and cannot be wished away. Mehbooba however added that the idea needs to be replaced with a better one which is within the constitution of India, pointing towards Self rule and Autonomy.

“There is an idea of Azadi and you just cannot wish it away. I don’t know how many people can actually describe what it means for them. For a 14 year old, he doesn’t know what Azadi means. So the only way forward is dialogue. And for the first time the Government of India has appointed someone after the nomination of the President,” Mehbooba said.

She added, “We had interlocutors in the past also. I haven’t heard till now the government coming up to this level and owning an interlocutor.” Mehbooba while invoking what his father and former CM Mufti Sayeed used to say, that the state has already a lot (of political space) and things can take shape within that.

“I have said it many times that we need to replace the idea of Azadi with a better one. We have been given our constitution, our flag, own legislature. And then we have a bigger constitution in the form of the Indian Constitution. Self rule and NC’s Autonmy is within the Constitution and a better idea too (than Azadi), said Mehbooba.

She stressed that if any tinkering is done with the special status of JK that will shake the very foundations of the accession.

“It is not a matter of territory. What can one do without Article 370? We are proud of what we have, and if it is taken away from us the ground of accession with India will be shaken.”

Mehbooba also asked the Resistance leaders what road map do they have in mind once Kashmir is ‘separate’.

“What after (even if we chose to be) we separate? We need to have a plan of action, need self respect, then a bright future,” Mufti added saying that she doesn’t know the road map what people asking for Right to self-determination have in mind.


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