New Delhi, Aug 5: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday stated that the Modi government was fully aware about the genuine issues of the Pahari tribe of J&K and assured that the community would be given justice vis-a-vis their demands.
Shah made this assurance while interacting with a delegation of Pahari tribal leaders, led by J&K BJP general secretary and former MLC Vibodh Gupta, in New Delhi. He also asserted that the whole country loved J&K.
The delegation comprising prominent community leaders viz., former minister Mushtaq Bukhari, Mohd Iqbal Malik, Mohd Rafiq Chushti, DDC members Sohail Malik, Qayoom Mir, ex MLC Sayeed Rafiq Shah, Raja Waqar Asif, Khurshid Ahmed Mir, Advocate Ahsan Mirza, Gurdev Thakur, Sayeed Altaf and Ashiq Rafiq Mangral met the union Home Minister at his office inside the Parliament House today.
It presented a memorandum to him seeking Scheduled Tribe (ST) status for the community besides other demands. Following the meeting, the community leaders sounded convinced of getting ST status- their long pending demand.
During the meeting, the Union Home Minister said that the Pahari tribal community living in district Rajouri, Poonch, Uri, Keran, Karnah, Pahalgam, Shopian already suffered in the last 70 years and this time the Modi government would do justice with them. He further said, “The Modi government is fully aware about the genuine issues of the Pahari tribe and also recognises the great sacrifices made by this patriotic community for the sake of the country.”
“Sab Ka Sath Sabka Vikas is the mission of the Modi government and we will follow this in letter and spirit and the Pahari tribal community will be given justice,” Shah assured the Pahari leaders. On this occasion, Amit Shah strongly emphasised, “The whole country loves Jammu and Kashmir.” He called upon the Pahari leaders to work “in a mission mode for making a strong and vibrant new Jammu and Kashmir in line with the vision and mission of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”
Shah made this assurance after a representation, related to various demands of the Pahari tribe, was presented to him (Shah) by the delegation in the meeting. BJP official statement mentioned that the “representation was made under the guidance of party’s J&K president Ravinder Raina.”
During this meeting, Vibodh informed the Union Home Minister that the Pahari tribe represented a sizable population of 12 lakh in Jammu & Kashmir. “This tribe has been struggling for the past many decades for the ST status at par with the status granted to Gujjars, Bakerwals and Gaddis residing in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir,” he stated.
Highlighting the plight of their tribe, Pahari leaders said, “Being close to LoC, this community has been worst hit due to partition, two wars and terrorism in the past.” They thanked the Union Home Minister and the central government for providing 4 percent reservation to the Pahari tribe and for recognising the plight of Paharis. “Today Pahari tribe has huge expectations from the central leadership, especially from Prime Minister Modi and the Union Home Minister,” they added.
The Union Home Minister assured them that all the “genuine demands and concerns of the Pahari tribal community would be taken care of.”