Composite townships  

The chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed while issuing a clarification on ‘composite’ townships for migrant pandits on the last day of the budget session in the legislative assembly said there were no plans to create separate settlements for the pandits. He said they would go to their native places after their return to the Valley. Earlier, his finance minister Dr Haseeb Drabu in his budget identified three locations in the Valley for creating compartments for the migrant pandits. The budget talks of money to be spent on the compartments. A senior BJP leader, Ram Madhav has stated that the composite townships emerge from the common minimum programme. Madhav, happens to be the person who negotiated the terms and conditions for government formation in Kashmir.  And while Mufti Sayeed was assuring the house that there was no scope for separate compartments for the migrants, the Home minister of India stated that New Delhi would proceed as per plan for which the state government has promised 500 kannals of land.  The PDP has twenty-eight seats in the state legislature. That means a large number of people from the Valley voted for them. During electioneering the PDP had promised repeal of AFSPA, good governance and withdrawal of cases against stone pelters, besides release of political prisoners and equitable development of all the regions of the state.  The PDP, therefore, has no mandate to take up sensitive issues that are linked to the bigger questions.  And for the information of the PDP and the BJP, pandits are not the only community who were displaced during the turmoil. A good number of Muslims and Sikhs were also forced to migrate. They, especially the Muslims, returned to their native places and the government did pay them peanuts in the name of rehabilitation. The BJP government in New Delhi has forced Mufti to further polarize the state in the garb of `honourable’ return of the migrants and their rehabilitation in ghettos.  Instead of resisting the Sangh onslaught, a senior PDP minister shamelessly stated that “All we can do is to make **** of Kashmiris by India less painful.”  It was the same NDA government that objected to implementation of the Resettlement Act seeking return of half a million people who were chased away to Pakistan in 1947 by armed Hindu rioters. Why this dichotomy Mr Prime Minister? Notwithstanding this, the Kashmiris have never opposed return of pandits to the Valley. But it cannot happen the way government of India wants it to happen. A mechanism acceptable to all the stakeholders has to be evolved. The sooner it happens the better.