Kashmir incomplete without Pandits: Omar

Kashmir incomplete without Pandits: Omar

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said on Sunday that the Valley is beyond doubt incomplete without Kashmiri Pandits. 

He reiterated his resolve to regenerate a sense of security among the internally displaced community and create a better environment for their dignified and honourable return to the native land.

However, Omar said the return of the Pandits to the Valley would not be under any compulsion or force. “They have to take a call in this regard by themselves,” he said while addressing a convention of Pandits here.

“Consensus in making such a decision is very difficult, and a majority view of the people should be a guiding principle in making this decision,” he added.

Vowing to further intensify his efforts to seek better socio-economic packages of rehabilitation from the Centre for the safe and secure return of Kashmiri Pandits, Omar said, “I will do whatever possible to upgrade the status of basic amenities being provided to the Pandits at various migrant camps in Jammu.”

The chief minister said Pandits left their land as their sense of security was lost in the Valley during the militancy years. “We have to work to make them regain this sense and create a safe and secure atmosphere for them to return willingly,” he said.

Till then the aspect of upgrading and improving the basics of life at migrant camps “cannot be ignored,” and that his government would take all measures necessary to achieve it.

Omar said Pandits have gone through a difficult and challenging phase, as also through severe mental trauma during the 25 years of migration, which not only shattered their economy but reflected badly on all aspects of life.

A forward step in the direction of return of the Pandits to the Valley has been taken by earmarking government employment for their educated youth in Kashmir, and about 1,500 boys and girls of this community have taken up jobs and are residing safely and peacefully in the state.

“But the beginning in this direction will be significant when the community decides to return willingly and be part of the society as they were prior to migration,” he added.

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