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NC-Congress playing with the sentiments of Pahari people: JKPPM

Jammu, November 18 (Scoop News) –Jammu & Kashmir Pahari Peoples Movement (JKPPM) had decided to meet their counterpart leaders along Line of Control to decide the future course of action regarding the welfare of the Pahari community of both sides.

The organization has requested Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to allow them to visit Pakistani Occupied Kashmir.

In a meeting of Jammu & Kashmir Pahari Peoples Movement, Chief Executive of the Movement Shahbaz Khan and Vijay Kochar General Sectary Pahari Fourm said that government of India and government of Jammu & Kashmir had not heeded towards their demand and now they have decided to meet the Pahari leaders across Line of Control to launch a cross LoC campaign for the cause of Pahari community. He said that Paharies are demanding Scheduled Tribe Status but the government is lingering on the process.

Terming the 1947 partition as conspiracy to divide Pahari community of the state, Shahbaz Khan said that 70 percent of Paharies remained that side of LoC leaving the 30 percent in Jammu & Kashmir. JKPPM leader demanded Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to allow them to meet their counterparts in PoK so that they chalk out the plan for the welfare of the community. It added that the permission to Pahari leaders to visit PoK will also boost Indo-Pak track two diplomacy.

He said that Sageer Commission and Centre Interlocutors recently had also projected the demand of Pahari community by recommending grant of ST status but nothing has been changed. He said that Pahari community has moved from pillar to post to get the justice but they were ignored on all fronts. He said that struggle of ST status to Paharis is 30 years old when the Central government included the Gujjars and Bakerwals in the category and they were allegedly dropped from the list in 1991. He said that On October 14, 1991, then Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir Dr Farooq Abdullah approached Centre Government in black and white and recommended to provide ST status to Paharis and On December 26, 1993, then Governor of the state K.V. Krishna Rao also wrote an official letter to then Union Social Welfare Minister Sita Ram Kesri in which it was strongly recommended to include this community in the ST category.

Khan said that not only at state level even then President of India APJ Abdul Kalam, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi during their visits to Uri to meet with the earthquake victims had assured the people that their demand of Pahari status will be considered. “During their visits to Uri, the people their refused to get relief and demanded Pahari status instead”, he said adding that former Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee during his Karnah visit had also assured the people to mitigate their demand and PM had also wrote a letter to Union Social Welfare Minister to take immediate decision .

Khan added that it was on May 29, 2001 that Dr Farooq Abdullah again communicated to Centre government in black and white and remind them about giving ST status to this community and after taking over as Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayed took the matter with Centre and State Cabinet in 2004 and even in 2005, J&K assembly also passed resolution to provide ST status to this community.

Khan said that a Standing Committee on Labour and Welfare headed by Dr Susheel Kumar Indora in his report submitted in 2002 to the government had mentioned “Pahari community residing alongside Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir have similar background and lifestyle like to Gujjars and bakerwals and they should also be given the same status”.

Khan said that when the Pahari community felt that their problem is not being addressed in India, they want to approach their brothers along LoC so that a joint campaign be launched for the settlement of the demands of Pahari people.

It is pertinent to mention here that J&K High Court in 2007 also recommended to the centre Govt. to grant S.T. Status to Pahari Community without any further delay. But unfortunately it is matter of shame on the part of a democratic country that almost ball the Prime Ministers /all the Chief Ministers /all the Governors Even President of India also strongly projected and principally agreed to grant S.T Status to the Pahari community even then Pahari Community Is Ignored and discriminated in all the fields. Mr., khan said that it is in the interest of Center and State Govt. to provide S,T Status to the community without any further delay otherwise the most dejected and rejected Pahari youths can be misused or misled by the anti national and anti social elements.

Because all the people living in the border districts are facing same problems and having composite culture and way of life declare entire Rajouri, Poonch, Uri, Kernah as Schedule Tribe.
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