J&K finance minister Haseeb Drabu poised to be dropped from cabinet

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He also asked Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti: "What message are you trying to convey when the situation is so tense in the Valley?"

PDP insiders say it was Drabu who had convinced Mufti Sayeed to join hands with the BJP while many leaders considered it "political suicide" to enter into an alliance with an ideologically opposite group like BJP. "Don't see J&K as a conflict state and a political issue, it is a society which has social issues right now. By their negative approach, the people like Haseeb Drabu want to change the historical facts about the Kashmir dispute but they must keep in mind that they can not deceive and cheat the world", DFP said.

Finance Ministers remark were condemned by the opposition, as well as by People Democratic Party (PDP) leaders. "I will work hard to come up to the expectation and try to strength the economic structure of the State", Drabu had told PTI at the time of his appointment as Jammu and Kashmir finance minister.

Asking the chief minister to explain if the finance minister's statement was the official position of her party, Sagar said if Kashmir wasn't a political issue, why was PDP talking about self-rule and seeking a dialogue on Kashmir. "Remembering the past struggle of Kashmiris, he (Mir Qasim) had quoted famous couplet of Iqbal to me", Soz said.

The National Conference was also quick to lambast the PDP over the statements made by Drabu. "The comment made by him terming Kashmir as a social issue is far from the truth when the whole world recognises it as a political issue pending for a solution for the last 70 years", KCCI president Javid Ahmed Tenga said in a statement here.

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

"The decision (to drop him) was taken by the chief minister on Monday". "Your statement has the potential of creating a serious dent in the image and credibility of the party".

He was also the point man for the PDP that negotiated and drafted Agenda of Alliance between the PDP and the BJP.

"Mehbooba and Drabu had been at loggerheads on different issues", the source added.