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No big deal to restore Article 370 if Kashmiris stand united: Mehbooba

PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti on Wednesday asked New Delhi to restore Article 370 and resolve the Kashmir issue if it wants to “keep Kashmir”, saying people want the return of “our identity and honour” and that too with interest.

Addressing a public rally at Neel village of Banihal, she also said the people of Jammu and Kashmir have decided “our fate with Mahatma Gandhi’s India which gave us Article 370, our own constitution and flag” and cannot live with (Nathuram) Godse’s India.

Mehbooba asked the people to stand united and “strengthen her voice for the success of her struggle in support of the restoration of special status guaranteed by the Constitution and safeguard the identity and honour of the people” of Jammu and Kashmir.

“We have decided our fate with Mahatma Gandhi’s India which gave us Article 370, our own constitution and flag. If they take everything from us, we will also take back our decision. They have to think if they want to keep J&K with them, they have to restore Article 370 and resolve the Kashmir issue,” she said.

The “people of Jammu and Kashmir cannot live with Godse’s (assassin of Mahatma Gandhi) India”, Mehbooba added.

“We want Mahatma Gandhi’s India, return of our identity and honour which was given to us by the Indian Constitution and I am sure they have to return it with interest as well,” she asserted.

Noting that history is testimony to the fact that no powerful nation has ruled people on the might of guns, she said, “You cannot keep Kashmir by holding a stick or a gun (on the heads of the people)… the superpower America failed to rule Afghanistan on the strength of its power and had to leave the country.” Without naming the BJP, the former chief minister said, “Some of our own people get annoyed when I demand dialogue with Pakistan for peace in J&K and resolution of the issue. They dub me a traitor and anti-national.” “Today they are talking with Taliban and also China which has illegally occupied our land in Ladakh and has also set up a village in Arunachal Pradesh,” she said.

However, Mehbooba said if the people stand united, it is not a big deal that “we will not succeed in our goal (of restoration of Article 370 and resolution of Kashmir issue)”.

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