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Former minister wants separate Jammu


A former minister and independent MLA from Udhampur Pawan Gupta has demanded the creation of a separate Jammu state so that the political and economical aspirations of the people from the region are not held "hostage" by the Kashmir-based leaders.

"Jammu people have their own political social and economic aspirations which cannot be met under the failed 70-year old Kashmir-dominated dispensations," Pawan Gupta said.

"The people of Jammu reject the demands of Kashmiri leaders ranging from autonomy to self-rule to freedom or merger with Pakistan," he said in a statement issued here on Sunday.

"Kashmir has seen radicals, who in the words of PDP MP Muzaffar Hussain Baig, are not fighting for autonomy or self rule, but for a Muslim state," he added.

He said the existing constitutional and administrative structure in the state is unitary and Kashmir-centric.

"It is a structure that the Kashmiri leadership exploits to the hilt and on a daily basis to its own benefit and to the benefit of the Kashmiri people."

"It is aimed at depriving Jammu and Ladakh and the minorities of their legitimate due share in state’s political economic and social progress. This is slavery of the worst form so not acceptable to us," he said.