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‘Division' politics intensifies in Jammu and Kashmir

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New Delhi, Feb 9: Jammu and Kashmir's state-level political parties and leaders have intensified politics over 'division' after Governor Satya Pal Malik on Friday ordered the creation of a separate administrative division for Ladakh region, which will be headquartered in Leh.

Ladakh (Image credit: Twitter @SherineBalti)

Ladakh, which was part of the Kashmir division till now, will now have a separate divisional commissioner and an inspector general of Police (IG) with a full administrative and revenue division at par with Kashmir and Jammu divisions. With the Friday's orders, the state is now divided into three divisions: Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh.

While the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and National Conference (NC) have started batting for separate division status for Pir Panjal and Chenab Valley regions, the political leaders of Kargil region have opposed the order of making Leh headquarters of Ladakh division.

Soon after Governor's orders, NC leader Omar Abdullah tweeted: "After the elections of 2019, should the people of J&K repose faith in @JKNC_ [National Conference] , our government will grant division status to Chenab valley [and] Pir Panchal regions as already laid out in our regional autonomy promise."

"We will take care of regional and sub-regional aspirations," he added. "We won't adopt the pick [and] choose approach of the Governor but will instead take a holistic view [and] address the wider problems. Our regional autonomy document will be our template."

[Face of current terrorism in Kashmir actually portents Pakistan's defeat]

PDP Chief Mehbooba Mufti also welcomed separate division status to Ladakh, but said when the division has been granted to Ladakh despite both Leh and Kargil already having Hill Development Councils, what is the intention behind ignoring remote Chenab Valley and Pir Panjal regions.

After getting signal from party leadership, the leaders of both the parties on Saturday demanded separate division for Chenab Valley and Pir Panjal regions.

While addressing a press conference in Rajouri, PDP leader and former minister Choudhary Zulfiqar Ali threatened a stir for the demand of divisional status for the Pir Panjal region.

He said the Pir Panjal region has suffered the worst kind of discrimination since many years.

Addressing a public meeting at Mandi in Poonch Assembly Constituency, Youth National Conference Ajaz Jan highlighted the importance of divisional status to Pir Panchal and the Chenab Valley regions.

However, the resentment has also erupted in Kargil region after Governor's Friday orders, which has made headquarters of Ladakh division at Leh.

[J&K administration creates separate division for Ladakh]

Main political leaders of Kargil region held a meeting in Jammu on Saturday and said that the separate division has been a demand of Kargil region and not of Leh region.

They requested Governor Satya Pal Malik to review the decision and demanded to make the Headquarter on a rotational basis: six months of summer in Kargil and six months of winter in Leh.

They threatened that if the demand is not met then all the democratically elected representatives of the Kargil region will give mass resignation.

The meeting was called by Froz Ahmad Khan, Chief Executive Councillor, Ladakh Area Hill Development Council, Kargil. Chairman J&K Legislative Council Haji Anayat Ali, Executive Councillor Zakir Hussain Former Minister Qamar Ali Akhone, Former MLA and CEC Haji Asgar Ali Karbalia, Former MLA Haji Nissar Ali , Former CEC Kacho Ahmad Ali Khan, Former MP Ghulam Hassan Khan, President NC and Former CEC Haji Hanifa Jan, and other councillors, and political leaders attended the meeting.

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