Succumbing to the coalition government compulsions, the Mufti Sayeed led government ruled out Hill Council status for Poonch and Rajouri, commonly called as Pirpanjal region. The region has been demanding the status of Hill Council since early 90s. A decision to this effect was not taken as communal elements have regularly opposed it. Former chief minister of the state Dr Farooq Abdullah could not do it. Mufti also failed the people of the region in his first tenure and so did Ghulam Nabi Azad. The Omar Abdullah led government promised a lot but could not deliver. Mufti could have done it this time but the communal forces opposed the move yet again and the proposal was consigned to cold chambers. People, by and large know that the communal forces would oppose the move. But they should have joined hands and put their foot down and went for it. The people who have been opposing the move remained silent when Leh was given the Hill Council status.
In fact all the regions of the state have been demanding regional autonomy and the process has already started from Leh and Kargil. The process should not be held hostage for appeasing a handful of persons who have polarised the state beyond repair. Interestingly Ladakh has population of a few lakh people. In fact the population of Batmaloo and Rainawari areas of Srinagar is more than the total population of Ladakh. But they know how to get things done. Successive governments have gone out of way to keep the Ladakhi people in a good humour. Some people are under a mistaken notion that the Councils were aimed at changing the demographic complexion of the region. If at all the councils are created, the entire population and not just a particular community shall benefit. And, it should not be in any case perceived as an attempt to divide the Jammu region. The demand for a Hill council should not be resisted because of unfounded apprehensions of some quarters. The demand hits hard at the very concept of Jammu Pradesh. Irony is that a `street politician’ and a self styled columnist from Jammu, who at times changes his gender to mislead the gullible people of Jammu, is demanding a separate state for the Jammu region.
The opposition to the Hill council demand for Pirpanjal region by communal forces of the state must serve as an eye opener to Mufti Sayeed on whom people have pinned high hopes. For staying in power, Mufti is doing great injustice to the Pipanjal and Chenab Valley regions.