New Delhi: The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) under chief minister Mehbooba Mufti has removed state finance minister Haseeb Drabu from the cabinet over his controversial remark that Kashmir was not a political issue.

According to PTI, governor N.N. Vohra has accepted Mufti’s request for dropping Drabu from council of ministers, making him the first senior leader to be removed from the cabinet.

A person aware of developments said that a formal announcement was imminent.

Drabu told a conference in Delhi on Friday that Kashmir was not a political issue.

“Don’t see Jammu and Kashmir as a conflict state and a political issue, it is a society which has social issues right now. We are trying to find our own space and we are going through a process which many other countries are also going through," Drabu said.

“It (J&K) is not a political issue as far as I can see. They have been barking up the wrong tree for the last 50 or 70 years by talking about the politics of it, that the political situation has never improved. We seriously need to look at in terms of how it is a society that is in search for itself," he said at the event organized by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Drabu was handpicked for the job by former chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. Drabu is one of the senior leaders of PDP and used to liaise on behalf of the state with the Union government.

“Haseeb Drabu is one of the most experienced ministers of the Jammu and Kashmir and his absence would hurt the state government," said a senior leader of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) based in Srinagar.

Drabu played a crucial rule in negotiations between the PDP and BJP before government formation in the state. Drabu was one of the point person in discussions between the two sides and was instrumental in getting the two parties together to form the government.

PTI contributed to this story.

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