Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik on Thursday gave his assent to the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2014, providing reservation for government jobs to the persons belonging to Pahari community, clan or tribe having distinct cultural, ethnic and linguistic identity.
The amendment provides for an addition of a separate category for the persons belonging to Pahari community, clan or tribe having distinct, cultural, ethnic and linguistic identity among the Socially and Educationally Backward classes (other than Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes). The method and authority for identification of Pahari Community shall be notified by the government, an official release said.
The statement said that the Pahari community has historically faced considerable economic distress leading to overall socio-economic backwardness of the community because of the remoteness and inaccessibility of the areas that they have been living in. They are not able to compete with other sections of the society in terms of access to education and health care due to these disadvantages.
The welfare legislation was a long pending demand of the people belonging to this group and it will go a long way in improving their status, and provide educational and job opportunities.
Former Chief Minister and President of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Mehbooba Mufti on Thursday welcomed the government’s decision of providing reservation to the persons belonging to Pahari community in Jammu and Kashmir and termed it as an appropriate step towards state’s harmonious growth.
In a statement, Mehbooba congratulated the Pahari community for being granted the reservation, stating that the decision was taken by the PDP-led government last year in February and that she is thankful to the governor for giving his assent to that vital decision. She said that the PDP while being in the government had taken into account the social status of the Pahari community and always felt concerned about the problems faced by the educated youth from the group, more particularly in the background of their economic condition, social environment and lack of facilities.
Mehbooba further remarked that the PDP since inception has been striving for the upliftment of all sections of the society through economic empowerment, quality education, cultural promotion and equal opportunities for growth. “Towards the fulfilment of these objectives an exceptional treatment to certain communities has been the legitimate desire of PDP leadership. Reservation for Paharis was one such decision that meets the party’s social agenda,” said PDP president.