APHC keen on talks despite threat

The Tribune 24 July 2005, M.L. Kak, Jammu – Notwithstanding the warning to Kashmiri Pandits against their return to the valley, the APHC leadership seems to be determined to pursue its dialogue with members of the displaced community.

Though the APHC leaders refused to comment on the threat issued by four militant groups, Save Kashmir Movement, Al Nasreen, Al Arfeen and Farzandani Milat, which had claimed responsibility for the suicide attack on the Tourist Reception Centre on April 6, they seemed to be slightly upset over the warning.
A senior APHC leader, Prof Abdul Gani Bhat, told this correspondent today “we have decided not to comment on the threat dished out to Pandits if they attempted to return to Kashmir.” This by itself indicated that the Hurriyat leaders had felt perturbed over the new development.
At the same time the APHC leaders indicated their “determination” to continue with the dialogue process not only with the displaced people but with those living in Ladakh and Jammu regions.
Those who were present in the meeting convened by the APHC have reasons to feel dismayed. Leaders of All State Kashmiri Pandit Conference have asked the community people to resort to social boycott of those Pandits who had accepted the invitation from the APHC.
Soon after the meeting ended in Srinagar on July 19, a number of Pandit leaders, including Mr K.K. Khosa, had issued a statement that they had participated in the meeting in their individual capacity. They said they did not represent the organisations they headed or were their office-bearers.
The APHC leaders feel disturbed because the leaders of the four rebel outfits berated the moderates for adopting anti-jehad attitude. The very indictment of the APHC leadership by the militant groups indicates that the moderates among the separatists do not enjoy sway over a cross section of people.
Though the rebel threat may not reverse the government’s policy on the return of Pandits to the valley, it has seemingly disheartened those who were planning to go back to Kashmir. Mr H.L. Chatha, general secretary of the All-State Kashmiri Pandit Conference, said here today that the rebel threat clearly revealed that the security scenario was yet not conducive “for our return to Kashmir.”
Dr Ajay Chrungoo, Chairman, Panun Kashmir, said “the militant threat to Pandits should be an eye opener for the APHC leaders.” He said “We have been harping against hasty and unplanned return of the displaced people to Kashmir so long as insecurity and uncertainty dominated the political scenario in the valley.”
Dr Chrungoo alleged that the main “aim behind the APHC exercise was to project itself as representative body of people of Kashmir by engaging Pandits and groups of people in Ladakh and Jammu regions in the dialogue process.”
However, Professor Bhat explained that “one has to face hurdles of many hues in the dialogue process,” adding that “one should not expect results of our dialogue in one or a couple of meetings.”
Those in Kashmir who are in favour of the return of the displaced people treat the rebel threat to Pandits as part of their gameplan of lengthening the turmoil.
This set of people are of the opinion that rebels have opposed the return of Pandits because they believe that once the displaced people were back it would be a major sign of restoration of normalcy. Also, the rebels would wish to bargain on the issue as they think that the 15-year struggle could be a wasteful exercise if Pandits return without their dream of seeing the Kashmir issue settled.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.