I can’t guarantee jobs… can’t incentivise going across LoC and returning this way: CM

Omar Abdullah on the issue of rehabilitation of former militants at The Sunday Express’s Idea Exchange session

Written by The Sunday Express | Published:March 31, 2013 2:29 am

The grey areas

There are two different policies. There is a policy for surrender wherein active militants are encouraged to lay down weapons and surrender. What is in the limelight is rehabilitation (of) a large number of Kashmiris who went across for training in the last two decades. The original policy was for these people to come to the LoC to identified checkposts and cross over. But that would have required the tacit or open approval of authorities on the other side of the LoC… The only other way available to them is to get travel documents in Pakistan,go to Nepal and cross over into India. That seems to be the route that is working. But,as of now,that route is not part of the policy. It is now going to be built into the policy.

Rehabilitating them is not a problem. The problem is rehabilitating their families because many of them have married non-Kashmiris. They are not Indians. Coordination is another aspect that will hopefully be sorted out.

Liyaqat’s case will be seen for what it is and hopefully,it won’t act as a dampener for others who are seeking to come across the same way.

The problems,the alleged harassment

The government of India is looking at this rehabilitation policy,including what you perhaps might call de-indoctrination. How do you assess whether they are coming back with a view to get recycled into militancy or they actually want to settle in? And the second thing is,I can’t guarantee government jobs to returning militants… I can’t promise jobs. I can’t incentivise going across and then coming back without a gun as a sure fire way of getting a job,because what do I tell the youngsters who didn’t go?

Education of their schoolgoing kids is easier to deal with than the older ones,because school admissions can be managed. The older the children are,the more the problem is. I was watching a clip on TV… the guy talking was a B.Com student. He had done two years of B.Com. There is no possible way that I can accommodate him into our education system.

The other aspect

An even bigger problem for me is what do I do with the surrendered and released militants? With every passing day,my number of released militants who have served their terms in jail is growing. Now they are a huge problem in terms of their rehabilitation. I don’t have government jobs to give them,there are very few economic opportunities. But if I don’t create an economic future for them,they will get recycled back into militancy.

We are talking to the Home Ministry… (Because) even one recycled militant is a readymade militant who doesn’t have to bother coming across the Line of Control.

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