Srinagar:Days after different Leh based groups presented a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding Union Territory status for Ladakh region of the state, influential religio-political organizations from Kargil District Tuesday rejected the move and reiterated their support for permanent union with Kashmir.
Imam Khomeini Memorial Trust (IKMT) and the Islamia School Kargil (ISK), the two religio-political bodies of Ladakh which wield massive influence over Muslims of the region said they will oppose any move to turn Ladakh into Union Territory tooth and nail.
Earlier, the tribal community from Leh claimed to be the representative of whole Ladakh region had presented a memorandum to Prime Minister Modi demanding UT status for the region on the basis that, “the State of Jammu & Kashmir, the territorial limits of which never formed a natural geopolitical entity in its real sense, still suffers from geopolitical crises and disorder.”
The Leh tribal community had said that even Frederic Drew who served as Governor in Ladakh in the 19th century remarked that “the territories of Jammu and Kashmir have no other bond of cohesion than the fact of Maharaja’s rule, no simple name for it exists”.
President Imam Khomeini Memorial Trust (IKMT) Kargil, Sheikh Muhammad Hussain Lutfi told Kashmir based news agency CNS that Kargil is never ready to party ways with the people of Kashmir. “We will support every decision taken by the people and leadership from Kashmir. We are not ready to leave people of Kashmir,” Lutfi said that adding that some vested interest politicians from Leh are harping on UT status to mislead voters. “These politicians know it well that it is not possible to get UT status for Ladakh and still they are playing politics over it to gain vote bank. We have already made it clear that that we are against the division of the state and still if it happens, we will back the Kashmir leadership,” he said.
Lutfi even alleged that PDP-BJP government has been using dilly dally tactics in the construction of Zojila Tunnel that will connect Kargil with Kashmir. “This tunnel will bridge the gap between Kashmir and Kargil and we are eagerly waiting for the day when the work on this tunnel will commence,” he said.
Ladakh region, comprising twin districts of Leh and Kargil has total population of 2,95,745 souls including the electorate strength of 1,62,354 voters. The entire region is spread over four Assembly constituencies, two each in Kargil and Leh. The UT recognition to Ladakh, the demand of Buddhist-dominated Leh district of the region, has the backing of BJP.
“Let us make it clear that we don’t support UT for the Ladakh region. We are with united Jammu and Kashmir and those who claim that people from Kargil too want UT status are only misleading New Delhi,” president Islamia School Kargil Sheikh Mehdi said. .
He said that they have not decided about the issue yet but, “If or whenever the issue about division of state of Jammu and Kashmir will be raised, we will then give our opinion. Till this time, we don’t want any UT status from India but are supporting the united Jammu and Kashmir,” he added. (CNS)
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