LAB, KDA reject MHA’s high-powered committee; not to attend meetings

‘Will only participate in meet deliberating on 4-point agenda’
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Jammu, Jan 7: Leh Apex Body (LAB) and Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA), while rejecting the formation of the high-powered committee recently announced by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Saturday resolved not to participate in its any proposed meeting.

The call in this regard was taken by members of LAB and KDA here in Jammu in a meeting held to deliberate on the recent MHA announcement about the formation of this committee to resolve the outstanding issues of Union Territory of Ladakh and to take a decision about the participation in the subsequent meetings to be held.

“Our main objection is that the MHA has not fixed the agenda of the meeting. In this connection, we will hold a protest rally in Jammu on January 15, 2023 and later in Delhi in the third week of February. The participants, however, resolved that both the bodies would participate in any meeting headed by committee, empowered to discuss their (LAB and KDA’s) four-point agenda which they had proposed to the MHA in 2021 during Ladakh visit,” Sajjad Kargili, representing Islamia School Kargil, which is part of KDA, told Greater Kashmir.

Their four-point agenda comprised statehood for UT Ladakh; constitutional safeguard under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India in order to protect the interest of the tribal people of Ladakh; formation of Public Service Commission (PSC) and reservation of jobs for youth of Ladakh and creation of two separate parliamentary constituencies for Leh and Kargil.

Meanwhile a combined statement issued by LAB and KDA and signed by Thupstan Tsewang chairman LAB; Tsering Dorjey Lakruk vice chairman LAB; Qamar Ali Akhoon and Asgar Ali Karbalai, both co-chairmen KDA said that the participants in the meeting decided not to accept the formation of the high powered committee and attend any meeting conducted under its aegis as it (committee) had not been mandated to discuss issues raised by them (LAB, KDA).

However, it was resolved that both the bodies would agree to participate in any meeting headed by committee, empowered to discuss the four issues in question (already spelt-out agenda).

The participants further strongly objected to the composition of members of the high powered committee, representing LAB and KDA as the government “arbitrarily excluded and included members without consultation with them (LAB, KDA).”

“It was further resolved that the government should include all the names as proposed by Leh Apex Body and KDA in the year 2021 as per Home Ministry’s instruction. Proposed panel of names of the LAB included Venerable Thiksey Rinpoche; Thupstan Chhewang ex Member of Parliament of Ladakh; Tsering Dorjey Lakruk; Acharya Stanzin Wangtak president LGA Leh; Nawang Rigzin Jora, ex minister J&K; Ashraf Ali Barcha, president Anjuman Imamia and Dr Abdul Qayum, president Anjuman Moin-ul-Islam. Members of the Kargil Democratic Alliance included Qamar Ali Akhoon ex-minister; Asgar Ali Karbalai ex MLA; Sajjad Hussain Kargili representative Jamiat Ulema; Agha Syed Ahmad Rizvi Anjuman Sahab Zaman; Agha Syed Mohammad Shah Anjuman Noorbakshia; Haji Ghulam Nabi Var Anjuman e Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamat and Skarma Dadul, Ladakh Buddhist Association Kargil,” the statement mentioned.

It was further resolved in the meeting that the agitation for the resolution of those four issues would continue till their genuine demands were fulfilled. “In this connection, the LAB and KDA propose to have a protest rally at Jammu on January 15 followed by Dharna protest at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi in the third week of February 2023. Both the bodies have decided to intensify the agitation during 2023,” the statement said.

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