Omar Enhances Surrender Package, Cong Sees Red23 November 2010
The Indian Express
Jammu: Kashmiri youth, who have crossed over to Pakistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir to undergo arms training for waging a war against India will, upon a “on change of heart”, now get not only a cash incentives from the government but also a “safe passage” to India. The Omar Abdullah Cabinet on Monday evening approved a “rehabilitation policy” for Kashmiri youth who are held up across the border and who now want to return home to lead a peaceful life, leaving many in the Congress - the ruling NC’s main ally in the coalition government - red-faced. Pradesh Congress Committee spokesperson and legislator Ravinder Sharma said: “We are yet to see a draft (of the proposal) and hold a discussion on it. We will comment only after going through its contents.” Pointing out that the Union Home Ministry, in consultation with the Army and other security agencies, had already approved the rehabilitation policy, official sources said it will apply to all those who crossed over to Pakistan and PoK for arms training between 1989 and 2009, and who want to return home weapon-free. Keeping the provision of cash incentives intact, including a monthly remuneration package and a fixed deposit, in accordance with the surrender policy of his predecessor Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, the new draft policy allows such youth to make a formal request for a safe passage to the state government either through their relatives living in the state or on their own to the Indian High Commission in Pakistan. The new policy has specified four points for their safe passage into India, these include: the IGI Airport at Delhi, Wagah in Amritsar, Chakkan Da Bagh and Kaman Post. Their antecedents and bonafide of their claims will be scrutinised before the safe passage is allowed, sources said.