Srinagar: Former Jammu-Kashmir Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu quit People’s Democratic Party (PDP) on Thursday, reported ANI. Drabu has had strained relations with his own party ever since he was removed from the Cabinet early this year over his controversial remark that Kashmir was not a political issue. (Also read: SPO Flees With AK-47s From PDP MLA’s Residence)

Drabu had said at a conference in Delhi 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 had said.

Drabu had played a crucial rule in negotiations between the PDP and BJP before government formation in the state.

In September, Drabu turned down PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti’s attempt to make amends and refused his nomination to the party’s Political Affairs Committee (PAC), saying it “lacks authority” and its reorganisation appeared to “an appeasement than atonement”.

Mufti had nominated the former minister to the party’s highest decision-making body along with another senior leader and former minister Altaf Bukhari. He was first inducted into the PAC by then PDP patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed after he joined the party in 2014.

Drabu said he was “pleasantly surprised” to read, first on social media and then print media, that he was nominated to the party’s PAC.