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The natives refuse to return

Kashmiri pandits have rejected the state government's resettlement package, saying they would return to the valley only when the situation is normal.

In a report submitted to the Rajya Sabha secretariat, the Panun Kashmir Movement (an organisation of the pandits) demanded a clear policy in view of the recent surge of violence in Jammu and the Kargil shelling.

The pandits were apprehensive of the future. In the past 50 years, they have always been at the receiving end, the report said.

"We can't return without being satisfied that our progeny will not have to undergo the same fate," they said, "We do not have any right to mortgage their future."

The report -- Exposition of Treachery -- was prepared after discussions with the parliamentary committee. The pandits feel the rehabilitation plan would further fragment their community as it does not provide for the return of all -- some 300,000 -- migrants.

"What we want is not accommodation in the valley, but permanent resettlement," they said.

The report also expressed apprehension about the proper utilisation -- 'institutionalised corruption and diversion of funds' -- of the Rs 28 billion meant for rehabilitation.

It called for another comprehensive plan in consultation with recognised representative organisations. It should have an inbuilt mechanism for the community's retention in the valley for all times to come. The utility of the move has to be examined, evaluated and appreciated.

Meanwhile, at a seminar in Srinagar, speakers -- including former Jammu and Kashmir governor Jagmohan -- were unanimous that the situation was far from normal and not at all conducive for the return of the pandits.


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