October 2016 News

Kashmiri Pandits Rubbish Bhat's Invitation To Return To Valley

20 October 2016
Times of India
Yudhvir Rana

Amritsar: The Hizbul Mujahideen's militant commander Zakir Rashid Bhat's invitation to Kashmiri Pandits to return to valley has evoked sharp criticism from various Kashmiri Pandits' associations. These hapless Kashmiri Pandits who were forced to migrate out of Valley after the outbreak of Islamic militancy in Valley. Rajesh Raina, vice-president of Kashmir Pundit Sabha, Amritsar smells a conspiracy behind Bhat's invitation. 'Who is he to invite us bac? It seems to be a ploy to dilute the cause of Kashmiri Pundits which is to return to their mother land with dignity,' he said while talking to TOI on Thursday. He said how could they forget the atrocities committed by Islamic militant groups on Kashmiri Pundits. 'It has been 26 years living in exile, how can we forget how they (Islamic militants) used to make announcements threatening Kashmir Pundits to migrate from the valley leaving behind their women. Zakir Rashid Bhat also known as 'Musa', who had succeeded Hizbul Muzahadeen's slain militant commander Burhan Wani, in his video post has extended invitation to Kashmir Pandits and had taken responsibility of their safety. Bhat had also claimed that Hizbul was being approached by some Sikh groups and had indicated at forming a Sikh's armed group under Hizbul's command. Vijay Aima, president of All India Kashmiri Samaj, New Delhi, fumed, 'Kashmir belongs to us, we don't need anyone's invitation to go back to our homeland.' He said Bhat's video was just a tactics to make its place in international media and to pose himself a secular miltant commander. He said they (militants) had asked Kashmiri Pandits to return to their homes. 'I need to ask where are the homes, they were forcibly occupied by them or many had to sell under distress and duress,' he said. President of Kashmiri Pandit's Association, Mumbai SP Kachru said, 'This is a showcase announcement intended for their own political correctness, the militants want to give a message that they have invited Kashmiri Pandits but some leaders were not allowing them to return to valley.' Kachru observed that such an announcement could be beneficial for them (militants) that too in their own ilk but had no bearings on Kashmiri Pandits. 'This kind of offer is not at all acceptable,' he said.