Kashmir Incomplete Without Pandits: Pallone
19 August 2003
The Times of India
Silicon Valley: Any solution to the Kashmir problem was incomplete without the return of Kashmiri Pandits to the valley and compensation for the losses suffered by the community, US Congressman Frank Pallone has said. 'I feel strongly about Kashmir and the plight of Kashmiri Pandits,' Pallone said addressing a highly successful fund-raising event organised by local activist and Kashmiri leader Jeevan Zutshi here on Monday. Pallone, also the co-founder of India Caucus, said the issue of Kashmiri Pandits was not only important to India, but to the very soul of India. 'I think that a day has to come when the Pandits can go back to the valley. I know that is not an easy thing to say. But I think that has to be the litmus test,' he told an Indian-American gathering, which comprised of a large number of Kashmiri Pandits. 'Whatever happens to the future of Kashmir, there has to be an opportunity for the Pandits to be compensated, to be able to go back for those who want to go back.' Pallone said he had good relations with the Indian government and took every opportunity to speak out in support of the Kashmiri Pandits. 'I tell them you are not doing enough or you are not chastising the state government for not doing what they are supposed to do. I don't think that their plight should be politicised, in the sense that New Delhi makes decision based on who they are trying to assuage in Srinagar.'