SRINAGAR,Ishfaq-ul-Hassan(dna): Bowing to separatists’ threats of agitation against the composite townships for Kashmiri Pandits, the Mufti Mohammad Sayeed government on Wednesday did an about turn saying the Kashmiri migrants would be reintegrated into their native place as a part of the society and not an isolated community.
Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed speaks in the Legislative Assembly during the budget session in Jammu on Wednesday PTI
The government, however, maintained that “the migrants from all the communities who have no land and properties left in Kashmir can be accommodated in the composite township, if they desire so”.
Mufti on Tuesday had told the Union home minister Rajnath Singh that his government would fast track the land acquisition for creating composite townships for Kashmiri Pandit migrants in the valley.
“The government is committed to facilitating re-integration of migrant Pandits in their homeland with honour and dignity without compartmentalising them as an isolated community. The migrants from all the communities who have no land and properties left in Kashmir can be accommodated in the composite township, if they desire so,” an official spokesman said on Wednesday.
The statement, however, did not please the separatists who are bracing up for a major showdown against the government in Kashmir. Led by Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chief Mohommad Yasin Malik, separatists have launched a fresh bout of agitation by calling for protests on Friday and complete shutdown on Saturday in the valley.
“Kashmiris will spill their blood to safeguard their identity. A separate homeland for Kashmiri Pandits is actually a conspiracy to harm religious harmony in Kashmir and turn Kashmir into another Palestine,” Malik said.
“Kashmiri Pandits are part of our soul. They are masters of this land and nobody can stop them coming to Kashmir or living here. However the idea (behind the townships) is to damage the social fabric and religious harmony,” Malik said.
Kashmiri Pandits, however, reacted sharply to the separatists agitation politics. “It (separatist protests) is akin to rejection of the coexistence. Now they are giving different pleas trying to hoodwink national and international community. Where are the houses? Either they have been destroyed, burnt or sold,” said Dr Agnishekhar, convenor of Panun Kashmir, apex body of migrant Kashmiri Pandits. Panun Kashmir noted that they stand by their homeland demand to ensure their honourable return to the valley. In a resolution passed by Panun Kashmir in December 1991, Kashmiri pandits want the centre to create a homeland comprising the regions of the valley to the East and North of river Jhelum.
Main opposition National Conference (NC) however is not impressed saying the policy of religious segregation is unacceptable to the people of Jammu and Kashmir irrespective of their faith, caste or creed.