Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Monday said the government has received nearly 700 applications from local militants in Pakistan occupied Kashmir who want to renounce violence and join the mainstream.

“The response to the rehabilitation policy (for militants in PoK) has been better than expected. We have received 600 to 700 applications,” Mr. Abdullah told reporters here.

Out of the total applications received, 125 have been cleared by authorities for the militants to return to the state, he said.

“The information will be passed to their (militants’) families now on how they can come back,” Mr. Abdullah said.

The Centre had last year approved the rehabilitation policy formed by the Omar-led government for return of the youth who had gone for arms training to PoK but wanted to renounce violence and return home.

An estimated 1,300 youths from various parts of the state are in PoK and most of them have expressed their desire to return.