June 2000 News

Divide Kashmir, create homeland: Pandits

29 June 2000
The Times of India

New Delhi: A prominent organisation of migrant Kashmiri Pandits on Thursday demanded division of the Valley to create a ''homeland'' with Union Territory status. ''The National Conference is pursuing an agenda aimed at the second partition of the country as is evident from the passing of Jammu and Kashmir autonomy resolution,'' Panun Kashmir''s chairman of political affairs Ajay Chrangoo told reporters here. Stating that the resolution sought to limit Centre''s authority in the Valley and had nothing to do with devolution of powers, he said: ''Unfortunately, the Vajpayee government is giving an impression as if it were just Centre-State relations.'' Warning that subversion was ''being engineered within Jammu and Kashmir'', he alleged that the Centre ''apparently has connived in the passing of the resolution''. He said the Kashmiri Pandits could not live in an autonomous state ''which the Farooq Abdullah government wants in the form of a de jure communal Muslim state'' and demanded creation of a homeland for them which would have Union Territory status. ''If the Centre is willing to consider demands for autonomy, why can''t it consider our demand for a separate homeland... As also the demand of those in Jammu for a separate state and of Ladakhis for Union Territory,'' Chrangoo said.


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