KP leaders disillusioned by govt, pin hopes on Hurriyat

Kashmir Times NEWS SERVICE, JAMMU, July 27 – Dismissing the present state government for having “miserably failed to do enough for the migrant Kashmiri Pandits (KP),” a group of KP leaders today expressed hope that together, Hurriyat (Ansari group) and they can facilitate the return of migrants to Valley in due time. To achieve this, the group divulged that it had asked Hurriyat leaders to prove their representative character in Kashmir and to come up with a roadmap.

These individuals were those who held a meeting with leaders of All Party Hurriyat Conference (A) last week in Srinagar. The meeting was a result of the invitation sent out by Hurriyat to these persons, who, they insisted, went to Kashmir and talked to Hurriyat leaders in “individual capacity” without representing any organisation or group.

The group of sixteen people, who came back after meeting Hurriyat leaders, addressed a press conference here this morning in which they expressed, “The atmosphere in Kashmir is not at all conducive for migrants to return. Therefore, we reject the government’s plan for return and rehabilitation under the present circumstances.”

One of the persons, Anil Dhar, told media persons, “The present government has miserably failed to do anything for the migrant community.” Another KP migrant, Professor G.K. Mujoo, told that the government was not serious about return of KPs to Valley and the repeated pleas to provide financial and other support to those migrants who planned to return and settle down in Valley on individual basis, had met deaf ears.

Jatinder Bakshi, chairman of Action Committee for Return of Migrants, which had earlier facilitated a dialogue between the members of majority and minority communities of Kashmir, however, admitted that there was “division among KPs regarding this latest interaction as also about the solution of Kashmir problem.”

He elaborated, “While some KPs want a separate homeland, there are those who still vouch for restoring Kashmiriyat among the realms of social life in Valley.”

He also claimed in front of the media that after the interaction with Hurriyat leaders, they had been receiving thousands of e-mails and letters from all over the world, where appeals were being made to create a conducive atmosphere in the Valley before the return of KPs.

Reacting to the threats issued by certain militant organisations advising KP migrants against returning to Valley, the group of individuals termed the threats as “outrageous” and “contemptible.”

In a joint statement, issued during the press conference, the group mentioned, “These threats have not come as a surprise to the displaced community because some fanatical groups have been busy all these past years, striving to destroy the cultural, civilized, humanistic and secular legacy of Kashmir. It was the likes of these groups, which terrorised and tormented the KPs into fleeing their land of birth 15 years ago.”
The individuals also refused to bow before the threats and claimed that they would return to the valley despite such hurdles.

However, they criticised Hurriyat leaders and other mainstream political parties for not coming out into the open and condemning the militant threats.
When asked as to why had Hurriyat not invited some recognised organisations of KPs like Panun Kashmir or Kashmir Samiti, Bakshi replied, “I had put forth this question to the Hurriyat leaders to which, they replied, that they did not want to invite hardliners to talk at this stage. They wanted to start with the moderates first and then, perhaps, they would include the hardliners at a later stage.”

Amply aware of the heat generated by this interaction, the group wanted other representative groups of KPs and majority community to come forth and join them in this initiative to achieve a conducive atmosphere and facilitate the return of KPs to Valley.

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