PDP leader threatens stir over neglect of Pir Panjal region

Indo Asian News Service

Jammu, Feb 9 (IANS) Choudhary Zulfiqar Ali, senior Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader and former Jammu and Kashmir Minister, has threatened a stir demanding divisional status for the Pir Panjal region.

"The Pir Panjal region has suffered the worst kind of discrimination over years. No railway line, abandoning of the proposed four-lane project of the Jammu-Poonch highway by restricting it to Akhnoor, are just some of examples of discrimination against our region," he said addressing the media in Rajouri on Saturday.

Ali welcomed granting of the divisional status to the Ladakh region by the state government on Friday and reiterated the demand for same status for Pir Panjal areas.

"If by showing exemplary faith in democracy and turning out in large numbers to cast votes is interpreted as weakness, we can think of other means to get our issues resolved. We can also take to streets and stage protests till our demands are met," he warned.

Two former Chief Ministers -- Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti -- have supported the divisional status demand for Pir Panjal and Chenab Valley regions.

Both the National Congress (NC) and the PDP are planning to make this an electoral issue at the forthcoming Lok Sabha and state Assembly elections.

--IANS

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