Ladakh Congress Objects To ‘Quiet Dialogue’

22 November 2009
Rising Kashmir
Shabir Dar

Srinagar: Taking a stand against the “Quiet dialogue’ offer of New Delhi, Congress’s Ladakh unit has said they won’t accept any Kashmir solution unless people of Ladakh are taken on board. “The mainland Kashmiri political dispensation in power in the State is not doing justice with us. So we have taken a stand against our party high command for involving Kashmiri leadership in dialogue process by ignoring voices from Ladakh,” Congress’s senior leader from Ladakh P Namgayal told Rising Kashmir. He said autonomy, self-rule and complete independence proposals put forward by various Kashmir-centric parties are not acceptable to Ladakhies. “We do not have any objection if New Delhi gives any solution within the Indian constitution. Anything out of that is totally unacceptable to us,” Namgayal said. Congress’s Ladakh unit, he said, has passed a resolution asking UPA government in New Delhi to grant Union Territory status to the region. Highlighting the history of the region, the resolution said that Ladakh was forcibly annexed to Dogra rule by Maharaja Gulab Singh’s army general Zorawar Singh in 1934. “Since 1947 every Ladakhi leader and public representative have demanded different arrangements from time to time. Now we are demanding the Union Territory status for Ladakh in view of Ladakh’s unique cultural, linguistic and geo-climatic conditions and the discrimination it suffered at the hands of successive rulers of Jammu and Kashmir. However, unfortunately the UT demand for Ladakh got diluted due to the ongoing turmoil in Kashmir,” the resolution reads adding, “This region has its unique problems for which most of the laws legislated by the state government have gone against our interest”. Owing to the geographical reservations of Ladakh region, the state government has accorded the autonomous hill council status which is equivalent to virtual autonomy. “No solution, whatsoever, on Kashmir will be acceptable to us. We will go openly against our party (Congress) high command if any solution on Kashmir is reached without consulting Ladakhis,” said Namgayal. He said that a delegation from Ladakh Congress unit will soon meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Home Minister, P Chidambaram and handover a copy of the resolution to them.