While Kashmiri Pandit organisations on Thursday observed “holocaust day” commemorating their exodus from the Valley and reiterated their demand for separate homeland there, legislators cutting across respective party lines in the Legislative Assembly on Thursday resolved to work for creating an atmosphere conducive for the honorable return of Kashmiri migrants to their native places in the Valley.
As the House assembled in the morning, former chief minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah stood up drawing Speaker’s attention towards migration of Kashmiri Pandits from Valley 27 years ago. “Mein ek baat kehna chahta hoon ki Kashmiri Panditon ko 27 saal ho gaye wahan se aye huey” (I want to say one thing that it has been 27 years that Kashmiri Pandits have migrated from Kashmir), he said, adding that Muslims and Sikhs also migrated from there later on. Asking everybody to rise above respective political lines, he said that the House shall sit and discuss as to how to take them back to their native places.
BJP member Ravinder Sharma joined the issue saying that the House shall adopt a resolution in the matter. While Parliamentary Affairs Minister Abdul Rehman Veeri supported Omar’s suggestion, Speaker Kavinder Gupta read the resolution after the question hour which was approved by all except independent MLA Engineer Abdul Rasheed who said that there was no need for it as no one in Kashmir was opposed to their return. If Omar Abdullah and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti were really concerned about return of migrants, they should speak about those who were forced to migrate across the Line of Control from Keran, Karnah, Uri, Poonch, Gurez and other parts following “atrocities by security forces”, he added. He accused government of lacking maturity, sincerity, seriousness and commitment over serious issues, adding that it depended upon Pandits as to when they wish to settle permanently at their ancestral places in the Valley which they visit often.
Meanwhile, various Kashmiri Pandit organisations here observed holocaust day to commemorate their exodus from their native places in the Valley. All the organizations unanimously endorsed the demand for separate homeland as envisaged in their “margdarshan resolution in 1991”.