May 2016 News

KPS Seeks Centre's Intervention On Kashmiri Pandits Township Issue

22 May 2016

Jammu: Expressing concern over the Mehbooba Mufti-led state government's volte-face on the exclusive colonies for migrant Kashmiri Pandits, Kashmiri Pandit Sabha (KPS) on Sunday appealed to the Centre to intervene into the issue. 'We appeal to the central Government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to decisively intervene into the matter (of their return and rehabilitation in separate townships in Kashmir) in order to restore the confidence of the Kashmiri Pandits who had welcomed the important steps taken regarding return by them till now,' KPS President K K Khosa said. KPS expressed grave concern over the abrupt volte-face by the State Government over the issue of return and rehabilitation of the KP's in separate townships to which it had agreed in principal after the Centre had approved the proposal in a high level meeting chaired by the Union Home Minister, he said. Khosa was reacting to the recent statement of State Minister Naeem Akhtar on separate township for pandits in Kashmir. State Minister for Education Akhtar on May 19 ruled out exclusive colonies for Kashmiri migrant Pandits but said it would consider any alternative plan, even from separatist groups, to rehabilitate the minority community in the Valley. 'The proposal is to make land available where everyone can live. There is no question of an exclusive colony. That is out,' Akhtar had said in Srinagar. Terming remarks of the PDP Minister Naeem Akhtar as 'personal', BJP MLC Surinder Ambardar on Saturday said that it is purely prerogative of displaced Kashmiri Pandits to decide on 'return module'. 'If decisions of the State Government are made to overturn under pressure then the people will lose faith in it and it has no business to remain in power,' KPS President said. KPS leaders also criticised the Hurriyat Conference, JKLF and all the other main stream political parties who have been objecting to the establishment of concentrated settlements for the Pandits. The Sabha has also criticised the attempt by the tourism department, which is headed by the Chief Minister herself, to arbitrarily change the age old name of Hari Parbhat to Koh-e-maran in the hoarding, they have made for the 'Kashmir fort festival'.