Srinagar: Several pro-India parties on Wednesday slammed Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed for approving “composite townships” for migrant Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley, maintaining that such a move will create a divide between the minority and majority communities.
“We stand for the dignified return of Kashmiri pundits to the Valley. However, we don’t approve the creation of blocks and barricades by the PDP-BJP coalition government. The government should not making the Pandits untouchable,” National Conference, General Secretary, Ali Mohammad Sagar told Kashmir Reader.
On Tuesday, PDP Patron gave assurance to Union home minister Rajnath Singh during a meeting in New Delhi that his government will acquire land for “composite townships” for migrant Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley. The statement of Chief Minister triggered uproar in the Valley with both mainstream parties and pro-freedom groups dismissing the proposal.
Sagar, who represents Khanyar assembly constituency in the 87 member house, said that PDP was dancing to the tunes of its alliance partner and was working on their agenda of dividing Kashmiris on religious lines.
“Earlier also, it was BJP leader and former Governor Jag Mohan, who forced the pundits to flee from Valley and later blamed Muslims for their exodus. We won’t let it happen,” he said, adding “Kashmiri pandits are part and parcel of the society. We want them to live in towns and villages like they used to live with peace and communal harmony for centuries,”
Sagar said that there were over 3000 Kashmiri pandits leading a peaceful life in Kashmir despite all odds. He said many pandit officers work in the Valley like the people from the majority community.
Sagar said NC would react to the proposal at appropriate time in case they go ahead with the plan.
The President of Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) Ghulam Ahmed Mir said that steps like the creation of “composite townships” for the displaced pandits was being done by Chief Minister to please his masters in New Delhi and Nagpur.
“Mufti is taking such steps which do not suit him or his constituency. First, he took votes from the people to keep BJP at bay. And then, contrary to the wishes of the people, he joined hands with them. While pleasing his masters, Ii think he does not know what he is doing,” Mir said.
Congress, he said is committed for the return of the displaced pandits to the places where they lived with their Muslim brethren. We want the Pandits and Muslims to live together. How can the government alienate Pandits by putting them in settlements,” he said.
Peoples Democratic Forum (PDF) president and MLA Khan Sahab, Hakeem Yasin said that the coalition government was playing with fire by creating a state within a state.
“We are not against the return of Kashmiri Pandits to their homeland. But the manner in which it is being done is unacceptable to us,” Yasin said.
He said that no one was against the honorable return of Kashmiri Pandits but the proposed composite townships for them will send a wrong message to the majority community of the Valley.
“The coalition government is trying to divide the people. Instead of doing it, the government should fulfill its promise of repealing AFSPA and provide employment opportunities to the educated youth,” he said.
“This coalition will create problems for the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Their actions will have unprecedented repercussions,” he added.