Mehbooba accuses BJP of driving a wedge between Gujjar and Pahari communities at J&K

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman Mehbooba Mufti has accused the BJP of driving a wedge between the Gujjar and Pahari communities in the region. Mufti called on the communities to avoid their rivalries and to live together.

“The Home Minister (Amit Shah) will come and go. BJP is here today, it won’t be here tomorrow,” Mufti said in his video appeal to the two communities. “But the chasm he (BJP) creates between you, the enmity they create between you, the void they create between you…your religion is one, you are people of the same place. First they pitted Hindus against Muslims and now they want Gujjars and Paharis to fight against each other.”

During his upcoming visit to Jammu and Kashmir, Union Home Minister Amit Shah is expected to announce the Schedule Tribe (ST) status to the Pahari community. While the Gujjars already enjoy ST status, they oppose its extension to the Pahari community. The recent appointment of a Gujjar leader in parliament was also seen as an attempt by the BJP to appease the Gujjar community before granting ST status to the Pahari community.

Mufti called on the people of Pir Panjal area in Jammu which has the highest population of Gujjar, Bakerwal and Pahari communities to live in harmony and peace.

“For so many days, you know, there has been tension in the Pir Panjal area. Since there were talks about scheduled tribe status for the Paharis during the visit of the Minister of Home Affairs, a brother (Gujjar) has become an enemy of his brother (Pahari),” Mufti said. “They are sons of the same mother but have become sworn enemies of each other. They have lived together for centuries, they have relations with each other but they have turned against each other”.

“Dignity, respect and shame are in the hands of Allah and not in the hands of a devil,” she said. “So stop fighting with each other. Live together and do not let their impure intentions succeed.

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