February 2004 News

Return Of Pandits Not Possible Now: Farooq

28 February 2004
The Hindu

Jammu: The former Chief Minister, Dr. Farooq Abdullah, has said that the return of Kashmiri Pandits is not possible at this stage as a sense of insecurity still prevails in the valley. Addressing a gathering here on Friday, on the occasion of the third death anniversary of former Law Minister, P.L. Handoo, Dr. Abdullah said, 'The hallow slogan of normalcy in the valley was being raised but the violence continues unabated. The State Government is making promises like early return of the Kashmiri Pandit community. But this is not the right time for the Pandit community to return to the valley as the threat perception still exists. Let us face the facts.' According to the former Chief Minister, the community has to return to the valley one day as they are part and parcel of the valley's society but he was quick to add that the shadow of gun should first disappear. Dr. Abdullah described the decision to re-open the road links such as Uri- Muzaffarabad as election stunt. He said, 'The State Government is not serious about opening the road links and it would forget the promise after the elections. There should be greater interaction between the people of the two sides before opening any route.' The demand to open the Uri-Muzaffarabad road was first made by the former Chief Minister, Sheikh Abdullah, (father of Dr. Farooq Abdullah).


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