Altaf Bukhari replaces Dr Hasseb Drabu as Finance Minister

Haseeb Drabu

Endorsing the statement of Finance Minister, Haseeb A Drabu that Kashmir is not a political issue; Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday said that the only issue is to get "PoK" back.

In a communique to Governor N.N.Vohra, Ms. Mufti also conveyed the People Democratic Party's decision to drop Mr. Drabu from the Council of Ministers.

Drabu earlier wrote on a Facebook post that he was quoted out of context and that his speech at a function in Delhi was carried "in bits and pieces" in a news report.

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Since yesterday, pressure was mounting on Drabu, who played a key role in stitching an alliance with the BJP during Mufti Mohammed Sayeeds tenure earlier and again when Mehbooba Mufti became the chief minister, after newspapers published his remarks that people were "barking up the wrong tree" as the Kashmir issue was not a political issue. "We seriously need to look at in terms of how it is a society that is in search of itself". Malik claimed Drabu used to talk to him for hours before joining mainstream and while "praising JKLF's efforts for liberation of Jammu and Kashmir from illegal occupation of India", he presented ideas and concepts for it. "Drabu has said that it is not just a political problem only but a social problem as well", said Kaul.

The PDP said it recognised the state as a political issue and had been pursuing its resolution through reconciliation and dialogue - both at internal and external levels. A favourite of the late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Drabu was made the finance minister after he impressed the former CM when he was economic adviser to the PDP government between January 2003 and 2008. He was also a consultant to the Economic Advisory Council of the Prime Minister and to the 10th Finance Commission. Later, he served as the CEO of the Jammu and Kashmir Bank from 2005 to 2010, but was sacked soon after the National Congress government came to power in 2008. The split will occur in coming months and may pose a serious challenge to PDP in Parliament Elections 2019. Many leaders of the PDP often complained to Mehbooba about the "arrogant" style and dealings of the finance minister, even with his own party workers.

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