PM visit will 'bestow' special status to Paharis: Abdullah

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Jammu, Apr 11 (UNI) Former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah today expressed concern over plight of the Pahari community in Jammu and Kashmir and said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should bestow then with a special status.

Speaking at a function this afternoon, organised to felicitate Mian Bashir Ahmed Larvi on conferment of Padma Bhushan award, Dr Abdullah said, ''the UPA government announces a lot but gives nothing to the Paharis. I think a deputation of Paharis should approach Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during his two-day Jammu visit on April 25 and he should bestow them (Paharis) with their rights of which they are being ignored.'' Dr Abdullah said earlier the then Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda on his visit to the state, announced a special status to the community but still they are deprived of this privilege.

''If Paharis are deprived of special status, then it may have different repercussions,'' he said adding, ''This community has always stood for their concerns and the people are fighting hard to keep their culture and traditions alive.'' UNI VBH SW BST0326

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