May 2016 News

Separatists Creating Controversy Over Kashmiri Pandits Issue Unfortunate: BJP

27 May 2016

New Delhi: BJP general secretary Ram Madhav on Friday said displaced Kashmiri Pandits are an integral part of the Kashmiri milieu and questioned separatists in the Valley for creating a controversy over their return. 'It is unfortunate that the separatist groups in the Valley are trying to create a controversy out of an issue on which there always existed a near unanimity of opinion in the Valley. Kashmiri Pandits are an integral part of the Kashmiri milieu. 'I have myself heard hardline Hurriyat leaders including (Syed Ali Shah) Geelani talking about Pandits as integral part of Kashmiriyat. So was the case with all the other Hurriyat factions,' Madhav told reporters here. The BJP general secretary was here for a meeting with senior state leaders of the party. He also met Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti last evening. Madhav said the state government would hold consultations with all sections of Kashmiri society, including Pandit leaders, for the return of the displaced community. He said the government was committed to bringing back the Pandits with honour and security. 'We gave a commitment in our Common Minimum Programme that the Kashmiri Pandits have to be brought back to the Valley with honour and also with security,' he said. He said the separatists were going against the interests of the people of the state by raking up issues on which there was no controversy. 'Tourism is in full swing and people are traveling to the state in hordes. It is the time when people here earn their livelihood and the separatists are giving bandhs and raking up issues on which there is no controversy at all, for example the Kashmiri Pandits issue. It is actually going against the interests of the people of the Valley, Madhav said. Madhav also talked about the controversial Sainik Colony issue, saying a decision would be taken by the government at an appropriate time. 'You see Sainik Colony issue is an issue of the previous government. It was in the Omar Abdullah government's time that some movement happened on this issue. An appropriate decision will be taken by the government at an appropriate time,' he said. The BJP leader also questioned why Omar was making it into an issue at this time. Commenting on the rise of anti-militancy operations in the Valley, Madhav said it was necessary for preserving peace in the state. 'Action against militants has been happening in the state for several years now. Action against militants is necessary for preserving the peace in the state. But our government, both at the Centre and in the state, will ensure that no innocent is affected, no innocent is killed.'