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Govt forms panel to decide on divisional setup in Ladakh

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PDP terms it Governor’s ‘delaying tactic’

Jammu/Srinagar, Feb 12: The Governor's administration has formed a high level committee to determine the scope and size of division level offices, their staffing and location for the newly constituted division for Ladakh region.

The Jammu and Kashmir administration past Friday created a separate division for Ladakh, which had been part of the Kashmir division till now.

Ladakh will now have a separate Divisional Commissioner and an Inspector General of Police (IG) with a full administrative and revenue division at par with Kashmir and Jammu divisions, an order issued by the administration said Friday.

"It is with this in mind that the government decision included the formation of a committee of very senior officers of the state to determine the location and scope and size of division level offices, their staffing, size and most importantly, their location," an official spokesperson said Tuesday.

This committee will submit its report "in a very short time" after interacting with all the stakeholders, he said.

"The government urges all parties to be patient. Everyone's interest will be taken care of," the official said.

Cutting across party lines, prominent politicians from Kargil have come together and threatened mass agitation if the decision to set up the permanent headquarters of the newly-created Ladakh division in Leh was not reviewed.

Official spokesperson also said the Governor and the government have taken note of the sentiments of the people of Kargil over the issue of creating separate administrative and revenue division of Ladakh, which has been a long-standing “need of the people of Ladakh”.

“Ladakh has two districts -- Kargil and Leh -- and the government is equally sensitive to the needs and aspirations of both districts. It is also aware of the administrative needs of the region and the connectivity challenges.”

Meanwhile, rejecting the constitution of a committee to look the location and scope and size of division level offices for Ladakh, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Tuesday termed the measure a “mere delaying tactic taken by the Governor administration”.

“If the Governor administration didn’t feel need to consult anybody in doing what they have done, why should they constitute a committee now for doing obvious and giving justice to another district,” senior PDP leader and former minister Naeem Akhtar said in a statement here.

He added that the best solution to the problem is to make headquarter of the recently formed division rotational so that it functions in Kargil during summers and in Leh during winters.

“What will the committee of secretaries do? Can they invent a solution on human imagination? The best thing recommended is this that while the agitation (in Kargil) is in its early stage, Governor administration must understand the complexities of Jammu and Kashmir and its peculiar socio-political architecture.

“The process that they have unleashed thoughtlessly can have grave consequences and a potential for a flare-up, and before that happens in this already sensitive state, the Governor must immediately rescind the order and do a six-monthly full rotation of all offices,” Akhtar said.

He added that Jammu and Kashmir as a state has sustained in spite of its diversities because of the annual ‘Darbar move’ between Jammu and Srinagar.

Akhtar said that now that the Governor has in his wisdom thought that Ladakh should be another division, he will have to follow this time-honoured procedure -- “otherwise, there can be grave consequences”.

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