Pandits' issue being used to divert attention: MLA
Srinagar, Apr 14: Independent MLA from Langate constituency in Jammu and Kashmir Sheikh Abdul Rashid today alleged that the focus on return of Kashmiri Pandits to the Valley was being used for diverting attention from Kashmir issue.
"There is so much noise about return of Kashmiri Pandits to the Valley as if there were no issues left in the state. This is a conspiracy to divert attention from the real issue of Jammu and Kashmir," Rashid told reporters here.
Rashid, who had sought an apology from Kashmiri Pandits for deserting the Muslims in the Valley after eruption of militancy, said he stood by his remarks. 
"The motherland demands sacrifices from the sons of soil for its protection. If they (Kashmiri Pandits) loved their motherland, they would not have fled overnight at the sound of first bullet being fired," he said.
Rashid hit out at Bollywood actor Anupam Kher for comparing killing of Kashmiri Pandits in Kashmir over the past 25 years to Holocaust in Europe. [Article 370 should be abolished, says Anupam Kher]
"Killing of even a single person is condemnable but how can you even compare (killing of) 209 Kashmiri Pandits with four million Jews?" he asked.
Referring to online criticism he faced in the wake of his demand for an apology from KPs, Rashid said "those of you who want to know who Engineer Rashid is, I want to tell them that I am a victim of state terrorism in Kashmir".
"My house was used as an army camp for four years and I was used as bonded labour for 14 years. This fact has been endorsed by no less that Director General of Police," he claimed. [No Israeli-type settlements for Kashmir Pandits: Mufti]