July 2005 News

Hurriyat Averse To Kashmiri Pandits' Homeland Demand

31 July 2005
The Indian Express

Jammu: Even as the moderate faction of the Hurriyat Conference is seeking to widen the scope of dialogue with Kashmiri migrants, it is of the view that the seperate homeland in the Valley is 'unacceptable'. The Hurriyat Conference, in its efforts to hold internal dialogue with the people from the three regions of the state- including Kashmiri migrants- has been aiming to involve them in the future politics in Kashmir. But the Hurriyat Chairman, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, while rejecting the demand for seperate homeland, said the division of Kashmir on religious lines was not acceptable. He added that the delegation of Kashmiri migrants that met the Hurriyat Conference recently in Srinagar did not raise the demand for seperate homeland. Umar Farooq said, 'We will talk to the people of Ladakh as well and work on the common minumum programe with the Kashmiri migrants. Not only the Kashmiri Pandits, we will also involve Sikhs and Christians in the dialogue.' However, a number of organisations that were formed after the migration of Kashmir Pandits wear the demand for seperate homeland on their sleeves. In December 1991, a resolution was passed at a two-day conference of Kashmiri migrants, seeking separate homeland in Kashmir. The conference was attended by over 1,000 delegates from around the world and the homeland was sought to be created around the east and north of Jehlum river, which would come under the Central rule. Panun Kashmir Movement president Ashwani Chrungoo said that the carving out of the homeland in Kashmir was the only way to redress the greivances of migrants. 'The homeland will be like a Union Territory, where the Indian Constitution will be implemented in letter and spirit,' said Chrungoo. However, even as there were at least four organisations, including the Panun Kashmir, that support the creation of homeland, this demand has not been endorsed by the public through elections. Panun Kashmir chairman Ajay Chrungoo said, 'We have boycotted the last three elections.' Ashwani Chrungoo claimed that no political party has directly supported the demand for homeland.


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