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Unhappy with PM, J&K Pandits
place hopes on Parliament
Tara Shankar Sahay in New Delhi |
April 22, 2003 11:03 IST
A miffed Kashmir Samiti on Tuesday demanded that a joint parliamentary committee hear the travails of Kashmiri Pandits since Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had shown his 'contempt' for the community during his recent visit to Jammu and Kashmir.
"By not uttering a word about the Nandimarg massacre of Kashmiri Pandits, the prime minister has sent a clear message that he wants to appease the Muslims in J&K," Kashmir Samiti chief Sunil Shakdher told rediff.com.
"He wants friendship with Pakistan but is not concerned about us. The least he could have done is to exhort Kashmiri Muslims to protect the Pandits just like the majority community in the rest of India takes care of the minority community," he said.
He said Deputy Prime Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani had assured him of speaking to N N Vohra (Centre's interlocutor on Kashmir) on their behalf.
"What can Vohra do when the prime minister himself has slammed the door on us?"
"Parliament is our last hope. We want a joint parliamentary committee to hear us out and we will also appeal to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi to assess the situation in J&K."
Asked how Kashmiri Pandits could place their case before Parliament, Shakdher referred to the case of noted lawyer (and now Rajya Sabha member) Kapil Sibal taking up cudgels in the Lok Sabha on behalf of the Congress, which opposed the impeachment hearing of Justice V Ramaswamy.
The Kashmir Samiti -- which is a platform for Kashmiri Pandit organisations including Panun Kashmir -- was summoning its constituents 'for another meeting with Prime Minister Vajpayee to secure a just deal for us'."We will also approach the judiciary and the Indo-American Kashmir Forum (which advocates the cause of the Kashmiri Pandits in the US) to focus attention on our plight," Shakdher said.