Omar, Rajnath Talk On Pandits' Return To Valley

21 June 2014
The Hindu
Vinay Kumar

New Delhi: At his first meeting with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh after the NDA government assumed office at the Centre, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Friday discussed several issues, particularly the proposed return of Kashmiri Pandits to the Valley, which is a priority area of the Narendra Modi government. The Centre has been considering the State government's proposal for the return of Pandits to the Valley for which the National Conference government had proposed raising the amount for construction or repairs of their houses from the existing Rs. 7.5 lakh to Rs. 20 lakh. The previous UPA government had not taken any decision on this proposal but the NDA government is keen to push it. 'I discussed wide-ranging issues with the Home Minister, including the policy on the return of Pandits, law and order situation, ceasefire violations and the AFSPA [Armed Forces Special Powers Act],' the Chief Minister said. Mr. Abdullah also briefed the Home Minister on the arrangements being made for the smooth conduct of Amarnath Yatra that is scheduled to begin later this month. He apprised the Home Minister of the infrastructure put in place for any emergency situation resulting from bad weather or any natural calamity. Asked about the Centre's decision to promote Hindi language, Omar said, 'We have Urdu and English as official languages. So Hindi cannot be forced.'