Over two years after giving an assurance for rehabilitation of “misguided Kashmiri youth” staying at arms training camps in Pakistan and Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK),who wish to leave the gun and return home in the Valley to lead a peaceful life,Omar Abdullah government has said that none of those returning from across the border after the announcement of states rehabilitation policy for them qualify for assistance from his government.
In the first ever official statement on the issue,which came in written reply to an un-starred question by Prof Chaman Lal Gupta (BJP),it said that “241 ex-militants have “illegally returned” to the state from Nepal or other routes. A number of these former militants have brought along with them their families including minor children.
To enable misguided Kashmiri youth return home from arms training camps in Pakistan and PoK,the Jammu Kashmir government had in 2010 announced a policy for their return and rehabilitation provided they wanted to leave the gun and leave a peaceful life back at home. For the purpose,it had identified three routes Uri-Muzaffrabad road,Poonch-Rawalakot road,international border at Wagah and Indira Gandhi International Airport ,New Delhi . The policy covers only ex-militants from state who had gone across the border for arms training between January 1,1989 to December 31,2009.
Under the scheme,the misguided Kashmiri youth staying across the border has to submit an application to the district police chief concerned either personally or through his family members expressing his desire to return home. The applicants written request,if allowed after screening of his antecedents by both the state and Central agencies,has to return to the state through any of the four identified routes.
However,none of the former militant returning home after the announcement of this policy has returned to the state through the identified route and after adopting the duly prescribed procedure. “No ex-militant has returned from Pakistan/PoK to the State through the identified routes under the Policy and Procedure for return of ex-militants to Jammu and Kashmir State “,government said in written statement placed on floor of the State Legislative Assembly today.
A total of 241 ex-militants have “returned illegally” via Nepal and other routes along with their families,the government said. Giving year-wise details,it said that 29 ex-militants including five along with their families returned in 2010,while their number went up to 54 next year. Of those returning in 2011,sixteen had brought their wives and children with them.
Similarly,in 2010,a total of 150 ex-militants returned from across the border and of them,ninety brought their families with them. During the current year upto February 15,2013,only eight ex-militants have so far returned home including two bringing their families with them.
Pointing out that the state government has received 1,089 applications on behalf of ex-militants staying across the border,the official reply pointed out that only 191 of these cases have been recommended for return. The rest of the applications are being scrutinized and verified,it pointed out.
“Since no ex-militant has returned through the identified after fulfillment of the conditions prescribed in the policy,they are not eligible for any assistance or rehabilitation,” it said,adding that “therefore,no assistance can be provided for their rehabilitation”.
Pointing out that it will continue with its efforts to implement the rehabilitation policy so as to facilitate the return of youth desirous to return to the state,it said that nearly “3,974 ultras are still living in Pakistan/PoK”