Pandits should own up Kashmir’s problems


SRINAGAR: On a day Kashmiri Pandits mourned their mass exodus from the valley, politicians and civil society members urged them to take “ownership” of Kashmir dispute because “it affects them as well”.
Speaking at a seminar that discussed the issue of permanent residential status to West Pakistan Refugees, legislator Engineer Rashid said the controversial issue was not the concern of Kashmiri Muslims only.
Civil society member and former president of Federation of Chamber of Industries Kashmir Shakeel Qalandar said, “Kashmiri Pandits are part of the problem. It’s not just a Muslim issue.”
A few speakers reiterated the view, generally held by Kashmiri Muslims, that then governor Jagmohan had asked the Pandits to leave en masse.
“Jagmohan wanted them to leave so that he could pursue his policy of bulldozing Kashmiri Muslims freely,” said Manzoor Ahmad Kirmani, Khateeb Jamia Masjid Handwara.
Abdul Majeed Wani, father of late JKLF leader Ishfaq Majeed Wani, said Kashmiri Pandits were always reluctant to join the freedom struggle of Kashmiris and they should not be dragged into it.
“They always helped their own community and their interests,” he said.