|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Take up our cause: Pandits to US
Tara Shankar Sahay in New Delhi | May 08, 2003 20:11 IST
Panun Kashmir wants US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage to take up the issue of 'ethnic cleansing' in Jammu and Kashmir during his visit to the subcontinent, the outfit's national general secretary, Ramesh Manavati, said on Thursday.
"When US Congressman Frank Pallone [from New Jersey's Sixth District] was in Srinagar last year, he [had] assured Kashmiri Pandits that he would urge Deputy Secretary Armitage and Assistant Secretary of State Christina Rocca to take up the issue of ethnic cleansing in J&K with the government in Pakistan," he told rediff.com
He said: "Any fair solution of the J&K tangle must take our plight into consideration. We are the minority [in J&K] and we don't have much faith in the state government [when it comes to] our return, relief and rehabilitation.
"What can we expect from this government when the prime minister [during his April 18-19 visit to J&K] did not even have the courtesy of mentioning the recent massacre of our brethren [in Nadimarg village]? If our own rulers don't help us, we have every right to approach American lawmakers..."
He threw up his hands in frustration when asked whether the Centre's interlocutor on Kashmir, N N Vohra, could help Panun Kashmir.
"Vohra has been going around meeting various segments of [the] Kashmiri society. But Kashmiri Pandits, as usual, have been overlooked," he said.
Panun Kashmir activist Yuvraj Raina said the outfit expects Vohra to approach the political wing of the Kashmiri Pandits 'and not make a mockery' of his task of finding an amicable solution 'by talking to only the majority [Muslim] community. It is a travesty of justice'.
Despite several 'rebuffs', the outfit will keep urging the Centre to solve the problems of the Pandits, he added.
More reports from Jammu and Kashmir
Read about: The Road to Peace | Kargil Crisis