Muslims, Pandits to share townships: PDP

Muslims, Pandits to share townships: PDP

‘Land has been promised, not given’

Wasim Khalid

SRINAGAR: Coming clean on government’s promise of allotting 50 acres in Kashmir for rehabilitation of migrant Pandits, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said that a new idea on separate townships was developing.
While elaborating, the PDP spokesman Waheed Parra said the townships for migrant Pandits would be made inclusive having fifty percent reservation for people from other religious groups.
“The statement earlier was that migrant Pandits will get exclusive societies on their return,” he said adding the new societies would house people from all religious groups besides migrant Pandits.
“The society would be fifty percent reserved for Pandits and fifty percent for the Muslims and other communities who want to buy land and live there. There are not only Pandit migrants, there are Muslim migrants as well,” he said.
He said the idea was still in the discussion stage and there was scope that it would further evolve.
“PDP has its own view of reintegration of Pandits. We believe migrant community members who come back should live in inclusive societies. We have opposed seprate colonies for the Pandits always. They should live in Kashmir like any other community” Parra said.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh had told the Lok Sabha earlier that Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed has promised to earmark 50 acres of land as a first installment for rehabilitation of displaced Kashmiri Pandits.
Singh had also expressed government’s commitment to rehabilitate the displaced Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley.
“So far no land has been earmarked. The statement itself says that it has been promised, but not given or allotted,” Parra said.
Minister of State for Public Works and Revenue, Sunil Kumar Sharma has said that government was committed to bring Pandits at any cost back to Kashmir. Asked whether government has finalized demarcation of the first installment of 50 acres of land for the migrant Pandits, Sharma said, “The issue of Pandit return is final”.
“The government is committed to bring them back to Kashmir at any cost. We are working on this issue,” he said.
“I am not able to tell you whether land has been earmarked for migrant Pandits or not since I am out of the station,” Sharma said.
He said the West Pakistan Refugee issue figures in the Agenda of Alliance and a committee would made recommendations regarding their citizenship rights and other issues which would be implemented later.