KDA and LAB Ready for Talks with Centre over Four Point Agenda

Kargil May 23: Softening their stand on engagement with New Delhi over their four-point agenda, the Leh Apex Body (LAB) and the Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA) on Tuesday expressed their willingness to resume dialogue process with the Centre without any pre-conditions.

The decision to resume talks with the Centre was taken in an emergency meeting attended by prominent members of both the organisations at Ashana resort, Kargil. The meeting also extended support to the 10-day fast announced by renowned educationist Sonam Wangchuk on the four-point agenda.

Addressing a joint press conference at Kargil on Tuesday, the two major apex bodies said they were always ready for dialogue but the Government of India wasn’t in a mood to address their issues.

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“We are ready for talks with the Centre, whether at the level of home minister or his deputy. We want to convey to the Government of India and the people of the country that we will never shy away from the dialogue. We will send representatives whenever we get an invite from the Govt of India,” Kargil Democratic Alliance (KDA) co-chairperson Asgar Ali Karbalai told reporters.

However, he added that the four-point agenda for Ladakh safeguards remains the core issue for the two parties.

“The promises made by BJP weren’t implemented. We have said it before and repeated it now, that we aren’t against the dialogue process but we want to make it clear that we are ready to sacrifice anything to press our demands,” he added.

LAB member, Cherring Dorjay Lakruk told media that since there was no response from the centre, it was decided to hold a fresh meeting with the government of India.

The two groups were formed in the twin districts following the region’s resentment against the central government for failing to provide constitutional, job, and land safeguard to the region after the creation of a separate Union Territory in August 2019.

It may be noted that on January 3, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) constituted a high-powered committee headed by Minister of State Nityanand Rai to “ensure protection of land and employment” for the people of Ladakh.  But the Apex Bodies decided to stay away from the Centre’s High Powered Committee (HPC).

However, after six months, both the groups decided to soften their stand and announced “unconditional talks”.

Earlier, the representatives were demanding to change the agenda for the dialogue and trim down the members of the High Powered Committee (HPC).

The four point agenda includes full-fledged statehood for Ladakh; constitutional safeguards under the 6th schedule of the Indian Constitution, early recruitment process & PSC for Ladakh and separate Lok Sabha seats for Leh and Kargil districts.

KDA leader Sajjad Kargili told media that there was communication from the government of India to hold the dialogue without any agenda and today it was decided in the meeting to resume talks without any conditions.

Notably, the Leh region witnessed massive protest in January this year after top environmentalist Sonam Wangchuk had announced a five-day long climate fast at 18,380 feet high Khardung La pass to invite attention of the BJP-led Centre to address the demands of Ladakhis.

Both the leaders from the Buddhist majority-Leh and Muslim majority Kargil are on the same page and have organised a number of protests to press their demands. The leaders have been demanding Constitutional safeguards on the lines of 6th schedule of the Indian Constitution.


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