Shamsher Singh Manhas, from Jammu, was aghast over why “everyone is speaking about Kashmir and not Jammu”.
“Jammu and Kashmir is not about Kashmir only. It is Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh that make the state,” Manhas said as the upper house discussed the situation amid a bloody unrest in the valley.
More than 55 people have been killed in the valley in the unrest that broke out after security forces killed a rebel commander. The violence has left thousands injured.
Manhas said Jammu, which shares some 500 km of border with Pakistan, also had its share of problems.
“The region has 55 percent of population in the state. Some seven lakh educated youth are employed. They could have also picked the gun. They could have also shouted for freedom,” he said, adding the people in Jammu “have always believed in democracy”.
But in the Kashmir Valley, “it is a battle between nationalism and separatism”. “People in Kashmir are following separatist dictates,” he said.