January 2017 News

Govt Out To Appease Separatists: Pandits

6 January 2017
The Tribune (Chandigarh)


Srinagar: Displaced Kashmiri Pandits have alleged that the Central and state governments are deliberately ignoring the community and victims of militancy in Jammu and Kashmir while following policy of appeasement towards separatists. The community has also raised a question mark over a five-member civil society group, headed by former Union Minister and BJP leader Yashwant Sinha, who recently visited the Valley but didn't include Jammu in their itinerary to meet the employees employed under the Prime Minister package and victims of stone-throwers, which included transporters. 'The government has failed to come up with any policy to address the issues of Pandits, who were the first victims of militancy in J&K. Majority of the youth who returned to the Valley under the PM package are facing harassment at the hands of the authorities,' claimed Ravinder Raina, president, All State Kashmiri Pandit Conference (ASKPC). The ASKPC has alleged that since 1947 successive government at the Centre has looked the Kashmir issue through the prism of separatists and present dispensation is no different when it comes to the policy towards Kashmir. The statement issued by the ASKPC says that the settlement of the Kashmir issue is only possible when Pandits are involved in talks, whenever they are held. 'An entire community was driven out of their homeland by radicals and terrorists in 1990. Our community is the first stakeholder of the issue and the government should not ignore this point,' says the statement. The community has said Pandits are in favour of curtailing human rights violations, if any happening in J&K, but minorities have suffered at the hands of militants and their supporters for decades and a step should be taken to address their concerns. 'People across India and nationalist people in J&K had hoped that the BJP government at the Centre will start a process to abrogate Article 370 but nothing is being done for the same,' said Dr TK Bhat, general secretary, All State Kashmiri Pandit Conference (ASKPC).

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