Army guideline on Kashmiri attire triggers row

Srinagar, Feb 22: A guideline to Kashmiri journalists not to wear ‘pherans’, a traditional Kashmiri attire, to army press briefings has triggered a row, with Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Saturday calling it “unacceptable”.

An invitation to the press briefing for Saturday of the commander of army’s Srinagar-based 15th corps said that journalists should not come wearing ‘pherans’ during the briefing.

Local journalists Friday protested the army’s guideline saying a ‘pheran’, which is a tweed over garment worn by Kashmiris during the winter months, is a traditional Kashmiri dress.

Omar Abdullah tweeted Saturday: “If the army has in fact told journalists not to wear a pheran to Corps headquater events that is unacceptable and the order should be withdrawn.

“People wear their pheran with pride. It’s part of our identity aside from the best way to stay warm in the cold. Can’t ban pherans.”

The army’s Srinagar-based PRO has withdrawn the guideline, saying it had been inadvertent.

IANS