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Drabu declines PAC nomination, says committee ‘lacks authority’

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Srinagar, Sep 9: Noted economist and former J&K Finance Minister, Dr Haseeb Drabu on Saturday refused to join Political Affairs Committee (PAC) of the Peoples Democratic Party.

On Friday, Dr Drabu and MLA Amira Kadal, Syed Altaf Bukhari, were nominated as PAC members by the party.

 

Drabu, however, in a sharply written letter to the party President Mehbooba Mufti, flatly turned down the offer.

The former FM, who was unceremoniously dropped from the cabinet over his Kashmir comment earlier this year, has claimed that the PAC “lacked authority” and its reconstitution was “more of an appeasement than atonement”.

“The PAC has, in the recent past, not only lacked authority but was consciously made to be seen as lacking authority. In this context, the ongoing party reorganisation and reconstitution of the PAC appears to be a more of an appeasement than atonement,” the letter read.

Dr Drabu has claimed that he came to know about his nomination through social media and news reports.

“I was pleasantly surprised to read, first in the social media and subsequently in the print media, that I have been ‘nominated’ to the Political Affairs Committee of the J&K Peoples Democratic Party,” the letter read.

It must have been a feeling of déjà vu for him reading about his PAC nomination from newspapers since back in March too, when he was sacked as Finance Minister, the party did not care to inform him officially and it was only through media reports that he came to know about the decision.

Dr Drabu wrote that it was mid-2014 when he was inducted into PAC by PDP patron and founder, Mufti Sayeed and as such, he knew the “value and significance of being a PAC member”.

“Especially so at a time when the state is going through a phase of exceptional political chaos and social crisis. The party is also confronted with serious challenges both from within and outside. Both these make the PAC an even more important institution for navigating the party as well as contributing to restore political order in the state through sagacious political conduct,” the letter read.

However, Dr Drabu wrote, he was “not convinced” that the PAC was genuinely empowered.

“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,” he wrote.

As per him, PAC was unable 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.”

While thanking Mehbooba for the nomination, Drabu announced his refusal to be a part of the Committee.

“Needless to say that I will continue to work, as I have in the past, for a peaceful, progressive and prosperous J&K. I wish the PAC positive and purposeful political deliberations for the betterment of the party and the people of the state,” the letter concluded.