PDP, Congress in war of words over granting divisional status to Ladakh

The Congress and PDP on Tuesday accused each other of ‘communalising’ the proposed move of the state administration to grant divisional status to Ladakh and the demand raised by PDP president Mehbooba Mufti to impart similar status to the Pir Panjal and Chenab valley region.
Senior Congress leader Dr Karan Singh alleged that Mehbooba Mufti was trying to divide the Jammu region on communal lines while PDP spokesperson Rafi Ahmad Mir said the veteran Congress leader “seems to be playing to the gallery”.

“Mehboobaji’s attempt to link this (Ladakh) matter with some Pahari areas in Jammu is an unfortunate effort to divide Jammu on communal lines, which is not only wrong in itself but also has no connection with the Ladakh demand. I hope the Governor will take cognisance of this,” said a statement issued by Dr Singh.

“I can vouch for the fact that historically, geographically, culturally and administratively Ladakh has always been a special area which needed full attention,” said Dr Singh.

Hitting back, the PDP had said Dr Singh had been a major player in the affairs of the state and it was expected of him to be fair and objective about the PDP’s mission to strengthen the bonds among Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh regions.

Chief spokesperson Rafi Ahmad Mir claimed that the PDP had worked for empowering Ladakh and creating the Hill Development Council for Kargil. “When we talk of giving similar treatment to Pir Panjal and Chenab regions, why should a leader of the stature of Dr Singh smell a rat. In Ladakh, Pir Panjal and Chenab, the population is a mixed representation of people of different faiths. If imparting divisional status to Ladakh is not being considered as a move to break up the region, why should the same logic not apply to the Pir Panjal and Chenab region,” said Mir.