Pandits should not be compelled to go back to Kashmir: Shankracharya

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Purkhoo Camp, Jammu, May 10 (UNI) Shankracharya Swami of Hindus' revered Puri Muth today said Kashmiri Pandit migrants, who are living in exile in various parts of the country since the onslaught of militancy in J&K, should not be compelled to go back to the Valley as it can recreate fear in their minds.

''Government should formulate a policy to make a conducive atmosphere so that Kashmiri Pandits themselves opt to go back to their places in the Valley,'' Shankracharya Swami Adhokshanand Devtirthji said to UNI.

He said compelling the Kashmiri Pandit migrants to return could recreate the fear because of which they left their native place.

''Government should provide special benefits to those Kashmiri Pandits who had stayed at their homes despite militancy. This would encourage the migrant community to look back at their native place as a better place for living,'' the Swami suggested.

Describing the current situation in J&K as peaceful, the Shankracharya Swami called upon political and religious leaders to convert this phase into a permanent feature of the state.

''J&K is peaceful now and it has to be made a permanent feature,'' he said, seeking a spiritual solution to the decades-old Kashmir issue besides ongoing political initiatives.

Stating the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley as a ''big slap'' on the political system, he said the return of the community would only restore peace in the region, for which the religious leaders would have to come up to the call of humanity.

He, however, predicted an early resolution of the Kashmir issue.

The Shankracharya Swami, who is camping in Jammu for week-long ''Raj Rajeshwari Tripursundri Maha Aradhana and Shri Ati Maharudra Yagya'', also visited Kashmiri Pandit migrants to see their living conditions.

He said in his capacity as a religious leader he would apprise the Centre about the situation in J&K. ''I do not have executive powers but as a religious leader I will definitely pass on suggestions to the government for permanent peace in the state.'' He also had a wide-ranging discussion, particularly revolving around the Kashmir issue, with former J&K chief minister and Member of Parliament Farooq Abdullah last evening.

In about 45-minute-long discussion, the present situation in Kashmir and strengthening of communal harmony and peace in the region remained the major subjects.

UNI VJ SKB HT1540

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