Asserting that Kashmiri Pandits are a key stakeholder in Kashmir issue, Union Minister Jitendra Singh has said no viable road-map is possible withoutinvolvement of the community. “Kashmri Pandits resolved the problems of India in the past and if there is any Kashmir problem, it will be resolved by Kashmiri Pandits only,” Singh said as he cited the Simla Agreement and noted that “Indira Gandhi, P N Koul, P N Haksar and D P Dhar” shared the same roots.
Referring to the current unrest in the Valley, Singh said after the outbreak of militancy, Kashmiri Pandits teaching fraternity were forced to migrate which led to closure of schools and quality of education fell in the Valley and now “they are burning schools”.
He questioned why the community was being “kept out” from any talks on the future on Kashmir.
“It is neither good for the state nor for the country,” he said.
“We have to fight it strongly. We should assert that Kashmiri Padits are essential stakeholder in any future road-map on Kashmir and no future road-map on Kashmir is viable without taking into account the future of the Kashmiri Pandits,” he added.
He said after the exodus of the community, the post-1990 generation in Kashmir “is a major challenge for India and government and society” as “they do not know that what is India”.
“As am educated society and intellectual community, it is challenge for you. People are resorting to politics over it. We have fight it strongly,” the Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office said.
Singh, who is an MP from Udhampur, was speaking after giving away awards to teenagers from the community during a talent search contest ‘Kashir Kalakar’ yesterday. The contest was organised by Athrot led by veteran Kashmiri actors Kanwal Peshin and singer Ravi Bhan and Pradeep Pandita.
“The intellectual and academics of the community need to create new literature,” he said and criticised the “award wapasi” campaign by authors and artistes over alleged intolerance in the country.
He said a Kashmiri Pandit women writer started the trend of returning awards. “She did not return her award when her own community was forced out of the Valley and they were the worst victims of human rights violation but returned it on something else. We have fight them,” he said.