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Lok Sabha Elections 2024: PDP skips 'self-rule', engaging with Pakistan over Kashmir in manifesto

For years, the PDP had stood firm on its demand for ‘self rule’, viewing it as the bedrock of Kashmir's unique identity. But amid power dynamics fluctuating, the party seems to have found itself at crossroads.
Last Updated : 19 April 2024, 13:02 IST
Last Updated : 19 April 2024, 13:02 IST

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Srinagar: The People’s Democratic Party (PDP), once a vociferous advocate of 'self-rule' and holding talks with Pakistan on Kashmir, has skipped both the demands in its election manifesto for Lok Sabha polls 2024.

In its commitments in the manifesto, PDP has vowed by stating that it will strive for roads and connectivity and utilize MPLAD funds for women, youth and societies empowerment, drinking water and sustainability. Besides, the manifesto also speaks about education, waste management and electricity.

In its manifesto, conspicuously absent is any mention of reclaiming Article 370. The omission, though subtle, speaks volumes, echoing the party’s internal struggle to reconcile its past with the shifting sands of the present.

Unlike the past there is no mention of engaging with Pakistan on Kashmir and ‘self-rule to Jammu and Kashmir, once non-negotiable demands.

For years, the PDP had stood firm on its demand for ‘self rule’, viewing it as the bedrock of Kashmir's unique identity. Yet, as power dynamics fluctuate, the party finds itself at crossroads. The once unyielding demands of the PDP now seem to have been tempered by pragmatism, in a region ravaged by decades of conflict.

Although the situation arising in Kashmir post abrogation of Article 370 does find a mention in PDP president and former CM Mehbooba Mufti’s message in the manifesto.

"Since August 2019 J&K has been converted into an open air prison after the illegal abrogation of Article 370. “There has been an unending onslaught on our collective identity, land, jobs, resources & infringement upon the very freedom to speak," the message reads.

“There is a dire need to raise our voice against this onslaught on the floor of the parliament. Right from the drastic changes to state subject and land laws to the outsourcing of our resources by gifting contracts to outsiders. Even developmental projects are being handed over to non- locals,” it added.

However, amidst the cacophony of conflicting narratives, one thing remains clear – Kashmir stands at a pivotal moment in its history, a crossroad where the decisions of today would shape the destiny of generations to come.

And as the PDP grapples with its silent discontent, the fate of Kashmir hangs in the balance, caught between the echoes of the past and the uncertain promise of the future.

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Published 19 April 2024, 13:02 IST

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