Terming economic security as essential for the rehabilitation and return of migrant Kashmiri Pandits, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah tonight handed over appointment orders for government jobs to 1706 youths from the community who will be posted in the Valley.
He said Pandits have "suffered a lot" and more practical action was required to encourage their return to Kashmir. "Much progress has been achieved in creating a sense of security among Pandit youths for return to their native place in Kashmir Valley and economic security is an essential ingredient in the rehabilitation and return of the migrants," the Chief Minister said.
He was addressing a gathering of Kashmiri Pandit migrants at a function held at his residence here to distribute appointment orders for government jobs to the candidates selected by Service Selection Board under the Prime Minister's package for educated Kashmiri migrant youths.
The package is the component of a comprehensive programme to encourage the return of Kashmiri migrants to their native place. All Party Migrant Coordination Committee (APMCC) -- a conglomeration of various Pandit organisations -- hailed the decision of the state government to implement the job package.
"We welcome the Chief Minister's initiative. Government should also take other measures speedily to built confidence among Pandit community," APMCC Chairman Vinood Pandit said.
As many as 6000 jobs are being created in various government departments for Kashmiri migrants in two phases.
Under the first phase, 1706 selections have been made by the Service Selection Board while 1300 are in the pipeline.
The migrant educated youths who have been selected would serve in the Valley in various departments and help in the return of migrant families, Omar hoped.
Recalling the the bloodshed and disturbance during the period of militancy, he said lack of sense of security and fear psychosis compelled the Pandits to leave the Valley. "You have suffered a lot.
You went through a difficult period. Your new generation is unaware of the cultural heritage and secular amity of which Kashmir has been an abode for ages," he said adding, more practical action was required to encourage the rehabilitation and return of Pandits. "So far we only heard slogans in your favour and in favour of your return to Kashmir," he said adding that creation of economic security by way of providing jobs in government sector to young educated Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley was a concrete step in this direction.
"It will prove an important milestone in restoring their confidence and return to the valley," said the Chief Minister.