SRINAGAR: Senior Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader and noted economist Dr. Haseeb Drabu, who was sacked as the finance minister in March, has flatly declined to be part of Political Affairs Committee of the party. Drabu along with Syed Altaf Bukhari was nominated as members of highest decision making body by the party chief on Friday.
This is seen as a clear rebuff to Mehbooba Mufti and setback to her reconciliation efforts as she faces revolt by a section of party legislators.
In a letter to party president Mehbooba Mufti, Drabu said, After giving it a serious thought, I am afraid, I am not convinced that the PAC is genuinely empowered to pursue whatever is required to bring back the politics of the state from its current state of abyss. Nor it is able to function in a framework of open and emancipated deliberations to find ways of repairing and restoring the value system of the civil society which has been seriously impaired.
He called the restructuring of party and reconstitution of PAC as an appeasement.
PAC has in recent past, not only lacked authority but was consciously made to be seen as lacking authority. In this context, the ongoing party re-organization and reconstitution of the PAC appears to be a more of an appeasement than atonement. No wonder the party constitutional limit on members of the PAC has been breached. In addition to 18 members (as against the stipulated 11) there are 10 invitees taking the number to 28.
Drabu said that he had learned about the nomination into the PAC through social media. I was pleasantly surprised to read, first in the social media and subsequently in the print media, that I have been nominated to the PAC of the J&K Peoples Democratic Party, he said.
I thank you for your nomination but regret my inability to be a part of this PAC, Drabu concludes his letter by thanking party president Mehbooba Mufti.
Drabu, widely seen as the architect of the PDP-BJP alliance which broke in June this year, was sacked from the cabinet by Mehbooba after his remarks at a closed door meeting in Delhi became public.
Speaking on Kashmir: The Way Forward in New Delhi on March 9, Drabu had said: Dont see J&K as a conflict state and a political issue. It is a society which has social issues right now. He was sacked by the then PDP led government soon after.