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Have no objection to setting up of townships for Kashmiri Pandits: Centre

Jammu: The Narendra Modi-led government at the Cente has no objection to setting up of homeland, township or colonies for the rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley, Union minister Jitendra Singh said today.

Addressing a conference of Kashmiri Pandits (KP) in Jammu on Sunday, he said it is for them to decide what they want.

The KPs on Sunday demanded implementation of 1991 Margdarshan resolution which allows carving out of a homeland for seven lakh KPs with union territory status in Kashmir.

“Whether colonies would be made or clusters or a homeland, whatever will be made (in Kashmir valley for rehabilitation of KPs), Modi government will have no objection. Union Home Ministry will have no objection. But please tell me what is to be set up,” Singh said.

Demanding implementation of 1991 Margdarshan resolution, two organisations of displaced KPs – Panun Kashmir and Youth All India Kashmiri Samaj(YAIKS) – also demanded the Modi government to initiate a structured dialogue process with their leadership on a comprehensive political agenda of the community.

“This year, the KP community is entering 28th year of its exile, after having suffered persecution, genocide and ethnic cleansing resulting into their exodus from Kashmir in 1989-90.

“In 1991, a Marghdarshan resolution was passed envisaging a free and full flow of Indian constitution in territory (to be carved out) in Kashmir (for KPs) and called for action,” they said in their charter of demands.

President of Panun Kashmir Ashwani Chrungoo, YAIKS chief R K Bhat and All India Kashmiri Pandit Conference (AIKPC), in a joint memorandum, handed over a “comprehensive political agenda” to Singh and J&K State JP President Sat Sharma at the seminar here today.

Terming KPs as “indigenous people of Kashmir”, who are the first stakeholders to the territory, he said that the government is aware of their difficulties and all the issues would be addressed in time-bound manner.

State BJP chief Sat Sharma said that displaced KPs will settle in Kashmir this year or the next year and as per their conditions, “if your want Panun Kashmir and homeland, it will be as per your conditions. And we will raise your voice in the Assembly and Parliament.”

During the function, senior KP leader and President AIKPC H N Jattu was conferred the ‘Pandit Amarnath Vaishnavi Samman’ for his lifetime achievement in espousing the cause of KPs.

Apart from him, an eminent scientist who while working in Brussels invented a new drug for treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis Dr Anil Kaul and President of Khalsa Centre

London Babu Harbans Singh Mehta who made immense contribution in the social field were felicitated on the occasion.

PTI