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Updated: January 6, 2014 02:40 IST

It’s for Pandits to take the call: Omar

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz
Comment (4)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah at a seminar on Kashmiri
Pandits in Jammu on Sunday. Kashmir, he said, was incomplete without
Kashmiri Pandits. Photo: PTI
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah at a seminar on Kashmiri Pandits in Jammu on Sunday. Kashmir, he said, was incomplete without Kashmiri Pandits. Photo: PTI

His government a “bold step” in bringing a Bill in the Assembly in 2009 for protecting their shrines

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Sunday assured the migrant Kashmiri Pandits “all possible help” from his government and said a Bill to protect their shrines and temples would be discussed in the coming Budget session of the Assembly. But he made it clear that ultimately it was the community that had to take the call on returning to the Valley.

“You people are waiting for consensus. I have observed that there’s always little scope for consensus on such crucial matters and issues. I think you will have to go by the majority point of view,” Mr. Abdullah told the dislocated minority community at a reception in his honour at Patta-Bohri, on the outskirts of the winter capital.

His government would leave no stone unturned to ensure the safety and security of the community and its religious places. Mr. Abdullah said successive governments, particularly his in the last five years, had done enough for the welfare and rehabilitation of the displaced community, but the Kashmiri Pandits waited for the elusive consensus.

His government took the historic decision of granting out-of-turn government jobs to unemployed Pandit boys and girls to promote their interest and encourage them to return to the Valley. Around 1,500 youths from the community had taken these jobs under a special package and they were working and living in the Valley “safely and peacefully with their Muslim brethren.”

“But a beginning in this direction will be significant when the community decides holistically to return willingly and be a part of the society, just as they were prior to the migration,” he said.

Mr. Abdullah took a dig at the Bharatiya Janata Party, without naming it, and its efforts to bring succour to the displaced Kashmiri Pandits.

Some leaders were shuttling between Delhi and Jammu “playing politics, without sharing the grief and agony of the community,” he said at a seminar on “Kashmiri Pandits: Future of Generation Next,” organised by Youth All-India Kashmiri Samaj (YAIKS).

Real well-wishers

The community’s “genuine leadership” that lived with them as migrants and fought to ensure they got justice was their real well-wisher and friend. “Not those who have not experienced the sting and mental trauma the community has undergone, but come from outside the State to give them sermons without sharing their difficulties.”

Mr. Abdullah said his government had taken a “bold step” in bringing a Bill in the Assembly in 2009 for the protection of the shrines and temples of the Kashmiri Pandits.

“Notwithstanding the criticism from several quarters and some leaders’ letters to the Congress president, we pushed this legislation. It is currently with a select committee and I am hopeful it will be discussed in the next session of the Assembly.”

Views of different stake-holders, he said, had been sought and considered by the committee of legislators.

This is the first time in 25 years that a CM of Kashmir has addressed Kashmiri Pandits. It’s a welcome step but Government of Kashmir has to own KPs by initiating their rehabilitation plan in the valley and not just leave them at the mercy of central funds. There is a sentiment of repentance among Kashmiri Muslims about Killings and forced eviction of KPs from valley in 1990. It will be good for Kashmir if efforts are made at all levels to bring two communities together.

from:  Vijay raina
Posted on: Jan 6, 2014 at 12:13 IST

It is absolutely hypocritical for Omar Abdullah to say that it is up to the Pundits to
move in to Kashmir. He as well as his predecessors have not made it safe for the
Pundits to live in Kashmir. Law and order is a state subject and the Muslim
majority state has not made it safe for members of religious minorities to live
there. Secondly what about the land t taken over by the Muslims from the Pundits
in the state. If he is really considering bringing back the Pandits, first he must
make the environment in Kashmir safe for them and then confiscate the lands
taken over by the Muslims and give them back to them. The best option would be
to agree to scrapping article 370 of the constitution and agree to no special favors
to anyone in the state. Unless the state is blended in with the rest of the country
there cannot be any safety for the people living in rest of India moving into the
state. If outsiders cannot buy land in the state then there will be no private
investments in the State

from:  San
Posted on: Jan 6, 2014 at 08:28 IST

Respected &Hon,Chief Minister of Kashmir
I felt very happy to read the facility and advise given to Kashmiri
pandit community.

from:  p tilak sharma
Posted on: Jan 6, 2014 at 08:12 IST

If Omar Abdullah is really interested in peace, let hime create a secure settlement for Pandits.

Without any guarantee for their lives why will the Pandits return to Kashmir ?

There should be no elected government in Kashmir until a settlement is created for Pandits.

from:  Ganapathi S
Posted on: Jan 6, 2014 at 06:26 IST
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