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Drabu drop scene

In politics, as said, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way. There is more to Dr Haseeb Drabu’s removal from the council of ministers than meets the eye. Viewing it as a frantic reaction to his remark on Kashmir issue in diplomats and investors’ conference in Delhi is perfectly an imperfect story. Since Drabu was speaking at investors’ conference with an aim to win them over for investing in the state, only naïve would have thought of him making a political case for Kashmir. It was a finance minister putting forth his case before the financiers. He could not have spoiled his case by making political noises. It needs the guts of a statesman to fine-tune your ideas in front of sensitive audience over a hypersensitive issue like Kashmir. And Haseeb Drabu did it in style. This is not for the first time that Haseeb Drabu made an apolitical case for Kashmir. He himself has admitted that it was his long-held belief and had repeatedly said it that Kashmir was not merely a political problem, and the engagement with Kashmir should be at various levels. PDP leadership has never rejected Drabu’s contentions before. Significantly, PDP’s political ideology is based on its much-touted self-rule document. Drabu is solely the architect and author of this document. It is not going overboard to say that it was the self-rule document that gave PDP the ideological frame. Before it, PDP would cross all borders in search of identity. From extreme separatist position to ultra-nationalist stand, PDP leadership, more particularly Mahbooba Mufti, tried every trick in the book to invent a new identity, way away from her past baggage. Mahbooba Mufti admitted it in the state assembly during previous NC-Congress rule that Haseeb Drabu (he was JK Bank chairman then) had drafted the document of self-rule for PDP, which provoked a serious reaction from NC legislators in the House. Many people believe that this became a drop scene for Drabu’s removal as JK Bank chairman. What prompted PDP now to throw out Drabu should be read and understood in the proper context. Nobody can deny this fact that chief minister Mahbooba Mufti has been going through a serious crisis of self-image. The BJP’s aggressive positioning and posturing on key issues directly related with the sentiments of the state’s majority community has taken heavy toll on her image. No doubt PDP, in real, owes its popularity and rise mostly to Mahbooba Mufti. But this too is an undisputable fact that the fall of PDP has also begun with her. One had expected that Mahbooba Mufti could take advantage of the chief minister’s office and strengthen her position as a credible and dependable voice of Kashmir. But she, for all probabilities, proved a disaster. Today she is not even a pale shadow of her yester-year’s self. Ever since she formed government in coalition with the BJP, Mahbooba Mufti has hardly seen any moment of peace from her allied partners. Embarrassment and humiliation has become core of BJP’s agenda of governance with PDP. Dropping Drabu from the cabinet is her desperate attempt to remake her image. It was Haseeb Drabu who weaved alliance with the BJP twice paving way for Muftis—first Mufti Mohammad Saeed and now Mahbooba—to take control of the state. Mufti, known as a master planner with astute sense of politics, gave no leverage to BJP to dictate terms. However, his death on January 7, 2015, virtually dealt a severe blow to the PDP.A section of PDP leadership began to hobnob with the BJP to form the government bypassing Mahbooba caused added damage to whatever the remains of the PDP. Sensing coup, Mahbooba again fell back upon Drabu to save the day for her. However, the same section of the PDP leadership crafted a narrative of “Drabu being a ‘BJP-man, a Delhi-man’. Ironically, Mahbooba not only allowed this smear campaign against Drabu swelled but also adopted those very people in her coterie who had engineered coup against her. She can little be forgiven for her sins by sacrificing Drabu at the altar of her ambitions. Drabu negotiated power with BJP for Muftis, not for himself. He did not do it by himself. He had the party’s and leadership’s (Mufti Mohammad Saeed and Mahbooba Mufti) mandate. To single him out shall in way change her image.