Jammu, Apr 9: In the wake of assertions by Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed in the Assembly that there were no plans for a separate cluster for Kashmiri Pandits (KPs) in the Valley, BJP's J&K spokesperson Nirmal Kamal told OneIndia that state government should first allow KPs to return to their ancestral lands.
The BJP leader further said until there is complete peace in the Valley, the displaced community should be allowed to live in a separate colony and there's no harm in it.
Do you think Kashmiri Pandits should be given the permission to live in separate clusters in the Valley?
Ever since exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley in 1990, things have changed drastically in the region. It is not the same Kashmir anymore that KPs were once used to live, 25-years-ago. The Kashmiri Pandits want to return and rehabilitate in their ancestral properties only if there is zero militancy and complete peace in the Valley, which is not there at present. [Composite townships: Rajnath hints at going ahead with plans to rehabilitate KPs]
Incidents of militancy, infiltration and cross border terrorism continue to disturb the peaceful atmosphere in the Valley, hence it is practically not feasible to bring the entire community live amongst the existing Kashmiri settlement (for one never knows the repercussions).
It will be wiser to first let this community return to its ancestral land and start living here. And when the government is convinced that there won't be a single incident of militancy and infiltration in the Valley they can think of other steps. But first let the displaced community in the region to live in a separate settlement.
Not to forget the KPs are demanding for a separate state 'Panun Kashmir' and the government hasn't agreed to this demand. Hence, its ideal to let them live in a separate cluster at least on a trial basis and I don't think there should be any objection to it. First let them feel at home, then think about other things.
But CM Mufti Sayeed has refused to do so. Do you think he has subdued to the pressure of separatists?
There is no denying the fact that Mufti Sayeed has a soft corner for the separatists and it is pretty clear that he bows to their (separatists) aspirations. Since the BJP-PDP coalition was formed under a common minimum programme and the case of KPs falls under the same category. Therefore, he will have to look into this matter without fail.
What should be the Centre's role in this matter?
The Centre will have to take this issue seriously and take firm decision over allotment of land to Kashmiri Pandits. The government is free to take some more time but it should never bow under separatists demands and pressures.
Do you think this issue will kick-off yet another conflict between BJP and PDP?
You see both the BJP and PDP are two parties with different ideologies but they have united for the welfare of Kashmir. So they'll have to constantly brainstorm over ways to resolve the difference in opinion for the good of Jammu and Kashmir.