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Pandits demand UT status for safe zone within Valley

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Feb 26 (UNI) The Panun Kashmir, a frontal organisation of the migrant Kashmiri Pandits, has urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to carve out a ''safe and secure zone'' for the displaced community within the strife-torn Valley and accord it a Union Territory status on the pattern of Chandigarh.

Panun Kashmir Convenor Agnishekhar told UNI that at the Prime Minister's round-table conference yesterday, he called for creating a ''safe and secure zone'' within the Valley for the members of the displaced community.

He said the Centre should grant the ''safe zone'' a Union Territory status on the pattern of Chandigarh.

Dr Agnishekhar said there should be a free flow of Indian Constitution in the Valley and the Indian sovereignty must not be diluted.

He also outrightly rejected the proposals of self-rule and dimilitarisation of Jammu and Kashmir and asserted that a conducive atmosphere should be created in the Valley to ensure dignified return of the migrant Kashmiri Pandits to their homes.

The threat perception from the militants persisted even today as some ultras had reportedly opposed the return of Kashmiri Pandits to the Valley after about 16 years, he added.

Dr Agnishekhar said his party's main issue at the meet was the reversal of the exodus and resettlement of the community under a new geo-political set-up.

''Restoration of our rights was the main issue at the moment and our homeland demand stands,'' he added.

Welcoming the round-table, he urged the Prime Minister to also continue with the series of one-on-one meetings with all groups in Jammu and Kashmir.

''The conclave is good but, at the same time, the separate meetings must also go on... these will help,'' Dr Agnishekhar said.

He also regretted that representatives of several other Kashmiri pandit organisations could not make their presentations at the round-table.


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