Pandits living in miserable conditions: European team
3 November 2006
The Daily Excelsior
Jammu: Kashmiri Pandits, the victims of militancy in Jammu and Kashmir, are living in 'miserable conditions' in camps and their situation needs to be improved, an European Parliamentary delegation said today. 'Kashmiri Pandits are victims of militancy. They are living in miserable conditions in migrant camps outside Kashmir,' co- president of the delegation Charles Tannock told reporters after an hour-long visit to Muthi camp on the outskirts of Jammu. Tannock, who interacted with migrants, particularly the women, said their living conditions needed to be improved. The Pandits raised the issues of homelessness, identity crisis, unhealthy living conditions, education, political rights and their return to the Kashmir valley with the team. R L Bhat of Jammu and Kashmir Vichar Manch told the delegation that nobody in the world talked about the original inhabitants of the Kashmir valley - the Pandits. 'Issues of global terrorism, terror in Kashmir and the Indo-Pak peace process are being talked about across the world, what about the Pandits? They have lost their homes and motherland,' Bhat said. He asked the European team to make the world community aware of the plight of Pandits in their own country. The Kashmiri Pandits also gave the team a memorandum on behalf of the community. The delegation promised to raise the issue at all forums to educate the world about the plight of Pandits. Among others, J P Singh representative from External Affairs Ministry, Ex MLC, B L Bhat, Camp Commandant Muthi Phase Second, Mr Santosh and prominent citizens were also present on the occasion. Other members of the European delegation were Jo Leinen (Germany), Marcello Vernolla (Italy), Justas Vincas and Inese Vaildere (Latvia).