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Trifurcation of J&K rejected

New Delhi, July 4: For a while Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its parent organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS-National Volunteer Corps), have decided to underplay the proposed division of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) into three units. There is an uproar against the idea within and without Kashmir.

Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani Wednesday rejected the RSS-floated idea of trifurcation of J&K into two states and a Union territory -- the Muslim-dominated Valley, the Hindu-dominated Jammu, and Buddhist-dominated Ladakh. Advani said any such division would weaken India’s case on Kashmir.



Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani Wednesday rejected the RSS-floated idea of trifurcation of J&K into two states and a Union territory -- the Muslim-dominated Valley, the Hindu-dominated Jammu, and Buddhist-dominated Ladakh. Advani said any such division would weaken India’s case on Kashmir.



Advani, a staunch supporter of RSS, said, “There is no question of any division of Jammu and Kashmir.” The government “does not favour any such action,” he added.

The RSS, at its national executive meeting in Kurukshetra in northern India had adopted a resolution last week seeking a separate state status for Jammu and Union territory status for Ladakh. It also rejected autonomy for J&K.

Advani made the policy declaration after a brief visit to RSS headquarters in New Delhi, which gives observers reasons to believe that RSS would keep quiet for a while. However, there is no guarantee that BJP would not change its stance tomorrow as it has frequently done in the past to follow its parent organisation.

Already the Jammu unit of BJP has been clamouring for the trifurcation of J&K.

The J&K unit of Congress Party has vowed to fight back the RSS move to divide Jammu and Kashmir on communal lines. “Jammu and Kashmir is one and will remain so,” Congress leader Pirzada Mohammed Sayed said at a public meeting in Anantnag, 55 km from Srinagar.

Former J&K minister S Rangil Singh said that the divisive activities of RSS and allied organisations boded ill for the secular and pluralist character of the Indian nation.

National Conference president and Minister of State for External Affairs, Omar Abdullah, termed the RSS demand for the trifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir a “prelude to handing over Kashmir to Pakistan.” “The very talk of separating Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh is falling in line with the two-nation theory, which our party has been opposing and will continue to oppose,” said Abdullah who is visiting border areas in Kashmir at present. Jammu & Kashmir is the symbol of secular ethos which people “like these (the RSS) are not able to digest,” he added.

The trifurcation demand has also been condemned by Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, former central home minister. Talking to mediapersons, Sayeed said, “These irresponsible demands should be condemned and all attempts to divide the state should be resisted. When there is every possibility of restoration of peace in the state, raising such demands sends a wrong message to the people of the state as well as the international community.”

Sayeed said that the RSS-VHP demand was not in the interests of the state. He also described the RSS as the backbone of the BJP.

The Indian National League (INL) has flayed the trifurcation demand raised by the RSS. “This demand is dangerous for national unity and will serve no purpose in tackling militancy in Kashmir,” Zameer Ahmad Jumlana, INL secretary, said in a statement.

“Terrorism in Kashmir and the northeastern states could not be checked. Terrorists dared to strike at the Parliament House in the very presence of Home Minister LK Advani. He became very passive and failed to discharge his constitutional duties to protect thousands of lives in Gujarat,” Mr Jumlana said.

However, the BJP wing of displaced Kashmiri Pandits has endorsed the RSS and VHP proposals for carving out a space for their settlement in the valley. Appreciating the concern shown by the two organisations, the BJP said that the move would benefit Kashmiri Pandits since “they were hounded out of the Valley by Islamic zealots.”

The president of Ladakh Buddhist Association (LBA), Tsering Samphel, has also welcomed the demand for giving "Union territory" status to Ladakh. “The trifurcation of the state was the only viable solution as there were linguistic and ethnic dissimilarities between the people of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh regions. Reorganising the state was not extra-constitutional,” he argued.

It may be recalled that the pro-Pakistan lobby among the separatists had advocated the trifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir, albeit on their own terms. The jailed Kashmiri leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani at one time suggested division of Jammu and Kashmir as the only solution.
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