Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

Policy measures for Kashmiri Pandits’ return in next few days: Arun Jaitley

Defence Minister Arun Jaitley addresses a press conference at SKICC in Srinagar on Sunday. (Source: PTI) Defence Minister Arun Jaitley addresses a press conference at SKICC in Srinagar on Sunday. (Source: PTI)
Press Trust of India | Srinagar | Posted: June 15, 2014 5:11 pm

The Centre will announce policy measures for return of Kashmiri Pandits to the Valley in the next few days, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday said while voicing optimism about the situation in J-K and promising that Modi government will make special effort for its development.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who met Jaitley on Saturday and was present during a security review with the minister, said he was glad that Jaitley was returning to Delhi “with an appreciation of the situation & challenges”.

Jaitley, who arrived on Saturday on his maiden two-day visit to the state after taking charge, said he had no political agenda but was here only to review the security situation.

“There was no political agenda,” he told reporters.

“After the discussions, I am quite optimistic about the situation in the state. Lok Sabha polls have been held peacefully while tourist season is in full flow. Amarnath yatra is starting towards the end of this month and the assessment if that it will also pass off peacefully.

“The normal life here remains peaceful and people progress, everyone is desirous of it. By the end of the year, Assembly elections will be held in the state,” he added.

In response to a question, the Minister said the Centre will announce in the next few days its policy measures for return and rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits who had fled the Valley due to outbreak of militancy.

“All political groups in the Valley support the idea of return and rehabilitation and, therefore, you will have to wait for a few days for us to announce our further policy measures on that,” he said.

Jaitley said there was a reference to the matter in the President’s address to the joint session of Parliament.

“Our intent has been made very clear.”

Jaitley said the Centre will make special efforts for development of Jammu and Kashmir and extend all required assistance to the state.

“As far as a state like Jammu and Kashmir is concerned, we will give whatever assistance is required for the development of the state.

“It is a state which because of insurgency has suffered and therefore we will take special efforts,” Jaitley told reporters here.

Replying to a question about slow implementation of Prime Minister’s Reconstruction Plan for Jammu and Kashmir, Jaitley said, “I will certainly look into that”.

Meanwhile, Omar expressed happiness over the Defence Minister’s appreciation of the situation in the state.

“Co-chaired an important security review with Arun Jaitley. I’m glad he returns to Delhi with an appreciation of the situation & challenges,” Omar wrote on microblogging site Twitter.

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