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Azad announces historic decisions; 8 new dists created in JK

Written by: Staff
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Srinagar, July 6 (UNI) In significant decisions, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad today announced creation of eight new districts in the state and setting up a committee on human rights besides increasing 25 per cent seats, including those reserved for Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), in the Assembly.

The other major decisions approved by the state Cabinet which met here this morning under the chairmanship of Mr Azad were setting up a police reforms commission, a finance commission and a committee on employment.

The Cabinet also discussed several points of the Common Minimum Programme (CMP) of the ruling coalition partners as agreed upon by them in October 2002.

Addressing a news conference here, Mr Azad said the Cabinet took a historic decision and decided to reorganise and create eight new districts in the state.

''Over the years, much water has flown down the rivers. We want to take the state on the path of progress and prosperity,'' he said.

According to the decision, both the divisions of Jammu and Kashmir will have four new districts each.

Bandipora, Kulgam, Ganderbal and Shopian are the new districts in Kashmir division, the Jammu region will have Samba, Kishtwar, Reasi and Ramban as the new districts.

Jammu and Kashmir will now have a total of 22 districts. The state till date had 14 districts - Srinagar, Pulwama, Anantnag, Kupwara, Baramulla and Badgam in Kashmir division and Jammu, Kathua, Udhampur, Doda, Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu region Leh and Kargil in Ladakh division.

With this, the long-pending demand of the people of both the regions has been met.

National Conference leader and former Chief Minister Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah had ordered setting up of the Wazir Commission, headed by ex-Chief Justice of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, Wazir Janki Nath, in 1980 for rationalisation of the administrated units following the Poonch agitation of 1978-79.

The Wazir Commission had recommended creating three new districts -- Reasi, Kishtwar and Samba -- for Jammu and one -- Bandipora -- for Kashmir in 1982.

However, the Commission's recommendations were not implemented despite a lapse of more than 26 years.

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