Hizb supremo against protected zones for Pandits

“We welcome them but they should settle in their native villages and their own homes”

July 24, 2014 09:57 am | Updated 09:57 am IST - SRINAGAR:

Hizb-ul-Mujahideen’s “supreme commander” and Pakistan-based Kashmiri head of the United Jihad Council Syed Salahuddin has opposed the idea of the Kashmiri migrant Pandits’ settlement in the Valley’s protected enclaves.

Many of the Kashmiri leaders, including Mufti Bashiruddin and the ruling National Conference stalwart Sheikh Nazir Ahmad, have in the recent past issued statements, categorically rejecting the proposal of the displaced Pandits’ rehabilitation in protected zones.

“Big conspiracy”

In a statement on Wednesday, Salahuddin said: “Indian regime will not be allowed to create separate zones for Kashmiri Pandits as it is a big conspiracy which will tell upon the integrity of the State and its interests. This will not be allowed at any cost.” He, however, added: “The State of Jammu and Kashmir has always displayed an unprecedented communal harmony. We will never allow the Delhi regime to divide our social fabric on communal lines. We welcome our Hindu migrants who had migrated unfortunately outside Kashmir Valley because of Jagmohan’s plans. We welcome their return but they should settle in their native villages and their own homes.”

“Proud of ethos”

Salahuddin asserted that Kashmir was proud of its ethos of communal harmony. “And this communal harmony will prevail in future as well. While the whole of India was burning, there was not a single communal riot in Kashmir at the time of Partition,” Salahuddin, who has continuously lived in Pakistan in the last 20 years, said. He dismissed the suggestion of rehabilitating the Pandits in protected colonies as the new government’s ploy to divide the people of Jammu and Kashmir on communal lines.

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