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Centre silent on Indian consul’s comments on settling Pandits

Sandeep Chakravorty, Consul-General of India in New York. File photo: PTI

Sandeep Chakravorty, Consul-General of India in New York. File photo: PTI  

He had recommended the Israeli model for Kashmir

A controversy erupted here after the Consul-General of India in New York, Sandeep Chakravorty, said India should follow the Israeli model of building settlements to facilitate the return of Kashmiri Pandits to their homeland.

The External Affairs Ministry declined to comment after Mr. Chakravorty assured a group of Pandits in New York that India would take steps to end the exile of the community.

“I believe the decision of August 5 will have long-term repercussions. I believe the security situation will improve, it will allow the refugees to go back, and in your lifetime, you will be able to go back and you will be able to find security, because we already have a model in the world. I don’t know why we don’t follow it. It has happened in the Middle East. If the Israeli people can do it, we can also do it,” said Mr. Chakravorty while describing the migration of the Kashmiri Pandits under fear of terror attacks in 1989 as a “big failure” of the Indian state.

Imran’s comment

The comment was taken up by Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan.

“It shows the fascist mindset of the Indian govt’s RSS ideology that has continued the siege of IOJK for over 100 days, subjecting Kashmiris to the worst violation of their human rights while the powerful countries remain silent because of their trading interests,” he tweeted.

Israel has often been criticised for building settlements in the occupied territories of Palestine which is viewed as an expansionist policy.

Mr. Chakravorty, however, said in a social media post that his comments were “taken out of context.”

The official spoke at an event to welcome filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri in the United States, and said that India had been gentle in its international behaviour but henceforth will be realistic.

‘Strategic blunder’

“We made the strategic blunder that we thought everybody is thinking like us. We will have to think like others and only then we can beat them in their game. The thinking of the current leadership of India begins from where our thinking exhausts. We have to go beneath the reasoning of why it was done,” said Mr. Chakravorty, explaining the rationale behind India’s move to end the special status of Jammu and Kashmir on August 5.

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 11:36:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/centre-silent-on-indian-consuls-comments-on-settling-pandits/article30099967.ece

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