Jammu : The Jammu & Kashmir Legislative Assembly passed a historic resolution for the return of Kashmiri Pandits on Thursday. Kashmiri Pandits along with other minority communities who were forced to leave the Valley fearing for their lives 27 years ago will be rehabilitated here. The issue of their return was being heavily debated since the past few days.
Leader of the opposition and ex-chief minister of Jammu & Kashmir, Omar Abdullah tabled the bill to this effect in the Legislative Assembly. Omar urged the house to leave politics and selfish agendas aside and come together in support of the bill, to create an atmosphere in J&K which is conducive for the return of displaced communities. His appeal was followed by a positive discussion in the house, claimed Kavinder Gupta, Speaker of the Legislative assembly. The Kashmiri Pandit community has welcomed this decision. Satisfaction was expressed over it on social media too. 27 years ago, Kashmiri Pandits who had come in the cross hair of terrorism had to migrate from the state. The issue of neglect shown towards this community which was a victim of the rancorous atmosphere fueled by Pakistan in the Valley, has often been raised. Particularly organizations representing Kashmiri Pandits had often protested against this injustice from time to time.
Kashmiri Pandits and Sikhs who migrated out of Kashmir had complained of land-grabbing and their properties being forcefully taken over. But now, return to their ancestral land seems in sight. This resolution was passed unanimously by all major parties in the assembly, leaving aside all their political differences. Mehbooba Mufti, the incumbent chief minister of J&K had taken a clear stand in support of the return of the displaced Kashmiri community.
Separatist leaders had begun systematically instigating the people of Jammu Kashmir against this rehabilitation process, projecting fear of a change in demography. Especially, separatists backed by Pakistan had tried to create a furor over return of Kashmiri Pandits. Mehbooba mufti brushed aside these arguments as irrelevant, saying that a return of our own people to our lands cannot be called a change in demography. She also stressed the importance of understanding the responsibilities as well as duties given by Article 370 to the state of Jammu & Kashmir by India.