Srinagar: Stating that there was no doubt that peace and tranquility have returned to Kashmir to a great extent, President Kashmiri Pandit sabha J&K, K K Khosa on Thursday some confidence building measures need to be taken by the J&K government to create conducive conditions for dignified return of the Kashmiri Pandits.
“Most of the Kashmiri Pandits are in exile for the past 32 years and are waiting for the right environment to prevail in the valley so that they can return back with honour, dignity and a full sense of security,” he said, adding, “There is no doubt peace and tranquility have returned to Kashmir to a great extent but some confidence building measures need to be taken by the UT govt to create conducive conditions for their dignified return.”
In addition, he said, necessary and adequate infrastructural facilities have to be created for the displaced Kashmiri Pandits for them to resettle “in the land of their ancestors.”
“It is common knowledge that in these 32 unfortunate years more than 70 percent properties belonging to the Kashmiri Pandits have exchanged hands and therefore such people don’t have any place to settle down after their return,” he said, adding, “The GOI and the UT government must frame a robust return and rehabilitation policy for the displaced community in consultation with Kashmiri Pandit leadership.” Although the KP sabha has time and again requested the Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha to constitute an advisory committee for the community, he said, there has been no positive response till now inspite of the assurance given by him on the 24th of June 2021 after the all party meeting chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.
“We also request the union home minister Amit shah and the Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha to arrange for a structured intercommunity dialogue between the civil societies of both the main communities of Kashmir since during past three decades a wide gulf has emerged resulting in a trust deficit which has to be simultaneously removed before any return process can begin.”
The leaders of mainstream political parties also have to shun negative politics and play a pivotal role to restore the lost glory of Kashmir where syncretism has been the bedrock of its societal and cultural life, he said.
“In fact we have also been stressing that every stakeholder having full faith in the constitution of India must be consulted before major policies are framed,” he said, adding, “With new political parties and equations emerging we Kashmiris will have to make a paradigm change in our mindsets and move away from stated stances in order to establish permanent peace and harmony for the sake of our progeny.”
He also made a fervent appeal to the Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha that measures regarding return and resettlement of Kashmiri Pandits have to be taken up on a “war footing and with the similar missionary zeal which the UT government has been showing in all other matters of reconstruction and development.”
“One has to remember that time is of essence in this respect as well and further delay will be harmful to the future of the Kashmiri Pandit community in particular,” he said, adding, “We welcome the steps taken to renovate some of the temples which were in bad condition but the restoration work is being done at a very tardy pace. It would be appropriate to associate some people from the KP community with the restoration work for better efficiency and monitoring.”
He said that it was also regretful that none of the army of union ministers that made a beeline for visiting the valley have had the courtesy of reaching out to the displaced Kashmiri Pandit community. “We strongly condemn this insensitivity shown by them,” he said, adding, “We also request the UT administration to ensure timely construction of two BHK quarters for the accommodation of PM package employees serving in the valley who have been living in sub human conditions for the past 10 years inspite of umpteen requests made by us from time to time.”
With elections in the offing as per the statement made by the prime Minister Narendra Modi from the ramparts of the red fort, he said, it is also important to create political space for the minority Kashmiri Pandits to recreate an inclusive and harmonious environment which can restore lasting peace in strife torn Kashmir.