Muslims oppose UT status to Ladakh
Kargil, May 31
Muslims in Kargil today opposed a demand of the Buddhists seeking an union territory status for the Ladakh region.
Leaders of the two communities held talks with the Centre’s chief negotiator K.C. Pant here.
While the Buddhists of Kargil supported the Ladakh Buddhist Association (LBA) demand of UT status for Ladakh, the Muslims opposed it and said they would remain with the Kashmir valley.
During its meeting with Mr Pant, the Zanaskar Buddhist Association presented a memorandum to him, supporting the LBA demand.
“In case the people of Kargil do not support the LBA demand, the Zanaskar valley would join the Leh district,’’ it said and added the move would ensure survival of the Buddhists of Zanaskar.
The place has become vulnerable to militant activities, who have infiltrated from Doda district, the memorandum said.
The Buddhist leaders said the last delimitation commission had strongly recommended the creation of a separate Zanaskar Assembly constituency, but the state government added three pathvari circles to the Suru valley.
The memorandum said the Zanaskar valley comprise nearly 60 per cent of the total area of Kargil district, which remain cut off from the rest of the world for nearly eight months due to snow.
However, president of the Islamia School Kargil, Aga Syed Zafar Ali Shah said: “We strongly oppose the demand of union territory for Ladakh’’.
“If Ladakh is granted a union territory status, Kargil will remain with Kashmir,’’ he added.
He said it was made clear to Mr Pant that the people of Kargil had nothing to do with Pakistan and told him that during the 1965, 1971 and the recent Kargil war with Pakistan, the Kargilis had fought against the enemy along with the Indian forces.
In Srinagar the Panun Kashmir on Thursday sought a separate homeland within the Kashmir valley with the status of a union territory.
Addressing his maiden press conference after the migration of Kashmiri Pandits from the valley in 1990, Panun chairman Dr Ajay Chrungoo said the homeland could be situated in the north and east of the Jhelum.
A three-member delegation of the party, an organisation of Kashmiri Pandits, was here to hold discussions with the Centre’s interlocutor on Kashmir K.C. Pant. UNI