Kashmiri Pandits are the most important stakeholders for any discussion on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir, Union minister Jitendra Singh said on Wednesday, asserted as he asked the community to “fight for itself”. “When you talk of having some kind of parleys or dialogue in Kashmir, Kashmiri Pandits are most essential stakeholders. This is something which nobody is saying. You have to say this aloud. Kashmir is not Kashmir without a Kashmiri Pandit and the composite culture of Kashmir, which is so often talked about is not composite without the inclusion of Kashmiri Pandits. You had a population of eight lakh which was dislodged,” he said while releasing a book ‘The Last Queen of Kashmir’, written by Rakesh K Kaul.
The minister claimed the country was facing a threat from “intellectual terrorists” who have mushroomed across the length and breadth of the country. “When a person gets up and talks on the Kashmir issue, the best way of acknowledgement is to do something outrageous, something anti-national and overnight they become intellectuals,” Singh said as he took a dig at some political commentators. “Do we realise that we are now subject to another kind of terrorism by the so-called Kashmir experts, Kashmir thinkers, and intellectuals who have mushroomed all over the country. Intellectual terrorism is much more dangerous for the country than the terrorism itself. We have these intellectual bankrupts who are not even honest to themselves. If they were honest to themselves, they would not have returned awards for something happened in JNU and not returning award when eight lakh Kashmiri Pandits were hounded out of their homes,” Singh said.
This population, which has been dislodged from Kashmir, is much higher stakeholder than a handful of three or four separatists, he said, adding “if any talk or dialogue happens, there must be a representative of Kashmiri Pandit,” he said. “Unless Kashmiri Pandits fight for themselves, no one could fight for them and the question is, are we doing that…,” he said.