Restore Homeland: Kashmiri Pandits
29 December 2007
New Delhi: Working for restoration of homeland of the displaced Kashmiri Hindus, “Panun Kashmir” on Saturday demanded re-organisation of the Kashmir Valley in a just and humane way and settlement of all displaced Kashmiris in the State. Addressing a national convention to commemorate the “Homeland Day” of Kashmiri Hindus here, Panun Kashmir vice-chairperson Shanti Bhan demanded reorganisation of the Kashmir Valley along north and east of the Jhelum river to give the displaced community its homeland. “In addition we are also demanding that the 7 lakh displaced Kashmiris, including those who were forced to leave Kashmir in the past, should be settled in their homeland so that they can live with equal dignity and honour,” he said. The convention was also addressed by a distinguished panel that highlighted the challenges faced by the displaced community and deliberated on various options for restoring normalcy and facilitating return of the displaced people. Among others, the panel included noted film and television actor Kiran Kumar, political analyst Nimit Verma and Panun Kashmir chairman Ajay Chrungoo. Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Chrungoo observed: “At this juncture when global awareness about Islamic Jihad has reached a level where a definite international resistance is evolving to the menace of terrorism, subversive forces from within the Indian Government and outside are working relentlessly to chart out a compromise on Jammu and Kashmir.” “No matter where we Kashmiris go in the world, we will always belong to our homeland. Those displaced don’t need charity, they need a home and a land in the same place where their ancestors breathed their last,” he added. While the first half of the convention focused on discussions, the second half included a cultural programme presenting the rhythms and melodies of Kashmir by artistes from the State. An award ceremony to felicitate prominent Kashmiri Hindus for their accomplishments in various fields was also organised.