Separatists’ opinion sought in bringing pandits back to J&K

  • Hindustan Times, Srinagar
  • Updated: May 20, 2016 00:18 IST
J&K minister Naeem Akhtar says Pandits won’t be settled in exclusive colonies. (HT file photo)

Owing to the opposition of separatists over plans of establishing ‘composite townships’ for displaced Kashmiri Pandits, Jammu and Kashmir government on Thursday sought suggestions from the separatist leadership to go ahead with the process of bringing Pandits back to the Valley.

The government, however, clarified that the land to be made available for facilitating the return of Pandits would not be exclusively for the Pandits community only. J&K education minister Naeem Akhtar said, “the government was trying to make things easy for the return of the Pandits.”

“It is a matter to rejoice as a community that there is a consensus between us and separatists that Kashmiri Pandits should return to the Valley,” he further said.

Separatists like Syed Ali Geelani and others are saying that Pandits must come as they are part of our society.

Similarly, the PDP, National Conference, Congress and BJP are also saying that Pandits should return. But they have to return after 25 years. Where will they live?,” said Akhtar in Srinagar.

Reports say that at least three sites have been identified by the Jammu and Kashmir government for setting up colonies for displaced Pandits which the state govt has conveyed to the Union home ministry for assessment.

Kashmir separatists have been vociferously opposing the establishment of any exclusive colonies for ex-servicemen or for those Pandits who migrated in early 1990s after militancy erupted in the Valley. They say that separate colonies would be on the “pattern of Israeli settlements in Palestine”.

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