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Defeating votaries of Greater Kashmir
Moves are afoot to dismember Jammu
3/14/2014 11:25:33 PM
JAMMU, Mar 14: Jammu province is unique in many respects. It is hilly and mountainous and it is an abode of many communities. It houses Dogri, Gojri, Pathowari, Punjabi and Urdu speaking people. Communal amity in the province is its unique feature. Between 1947 and till date, the people of Jammu province worked in tandem to defeat those handfuls who wished to vitiate the atmosphere. Leave aside a few aberrations here and there, especially in the erstwhile Doda district. Even when the militancy was at its peak in the state, the people, cutting across political and religious lines, did not allow thing to go out of in Jammu province, thus establishing their commitment to the unity and integrity of the province and the nation and peaceful co-existence. The credit goes to them for the simple reason that no separatist outfit could establish its foothold anywhere in the Jammu province then and thereafter. Credit also goes to them because they adopted cheerfully people who migrated to Jammu from time to time, including from Pakistan-occupied-Jammu and Kashmir and West Pakistan. It is extremely difficult to distinguish between the original inhabitants of the province and those who migrated to Jammu considering it safe, secure, democratic and liberal. Notwithstanding the fact that the people of Jammu province have several complaints, they have for most of the period pinned faith on constitutional methods of agitation. The fact of the matter is that Jammu province is an oasis of peace. It would be no exaggeration to say that the Jammu province is the nation's backbone and it was only natural that a leading Delhi commentator in 2008 wrote that India needs to follow Jammu. "To save India, follow Jammu," he wrote. Indeed, this was a great compliment.
Sadly, however, there are elements who want to break Jammu into three parts. They want the Government to segregate the erstwhile Doda district and Poonch-Rajouri belt from other districts of Jammu province, including Kathua, Samba, Jammu, Udhampur and Reasi. The erstwhile Doda district consists of three districts of Doda, Kishtwar and Ramban where the proportion of the two communities is almost evenly balanced and where Pakistan-aided, abetted and indoctrinated terrorists are active for years with a view to creating the Valley-like situation and enabling Pakistan to establish its control over the invaluable Chenab waters. Kishtwar and Ramban districts were created out of Doda district in 2007.
It bears recalling that only last August Minister of Medical Education Taj Mohi-ud-Din had held Pakistani agents responsible for the August 9 gory incident in Kishtwar, accused the protagonists of "Greater Kashmir" of disturbing the peaceful environment in the district and declared that such elements would not be allowed to disturb communal amity in the district or separate it from Jammu province. Those who want to segregate these three districts from Jammu province call it "Chenab Valley", notwithstanding the fact that no such Valley exists in this province. They are demanding an autonomous hill development council for these districts on the line of autonomous hill development councils of Leh and Kargil in the strategic Ladakh region, bordering China and Pakistan-occupied-Gilgit-Baltistan region of Jammu and Kashmir. All these districts are hilly and mountainous with certain small flat patches. Those who have visited these districts would at once vouch for the fact that the "Chenab Valley" is non-existent.
Similarly, such elements are demanding an autonomous hill development council for the twin-border districts of Poonch and Rajouri. They term this belt as "Pir Panjal" region overlooking the fact that the entire erstwhile Doda district is also part of the same mountainous range. The proportion of the two communities in this belt is also almost 60:40.
Although the protagonists of autonomous hill development councils for the erstwhile Doda district and Poonch-Rajouri belt say that these are under-developed areas, that literacy rate in these areas is very low, that some of these districts remain inaccessible during winter, that road connectivity, medical and educational facilities are poor and that many areas are geographically isolated and have suffered many a times due to wars between India and Pakistan, their ultimate objective is to dismember Jammu province to advance the interests of Pakistan and its agents who consider the remarkable unity in this province a great obstacle in their way. Their whole objective is to pit one community against the other and create an impression across the globe that the two communities could live together. They are simply seeking to negate the otherwise very praiseworthy facts concerning Jammu province and the beautiful and law-abiding people it houses.
It needs to be underlined that several attempts were made in the past as well by certain regressive forces to break Jammu province into three parts, but the people stood like a rock and defeated their devious games. They have again become active. It is the fundamental duty of each and every individual in this province to remain vigilant so that its unity and integrity is maintained at any cost. It is hardly necessary to underline that the dismembered Jammu province would only help Pakistan achieve its nefarious design and such an eventuality has to be averted in the interest of the people of the state and nation as a whole.
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