Kashmiri Pandits flay parties for being ''silent'' on sufferings
13 April 2002
The Hindustan Times
New Delhi: As political parties vie with each other in expressing concern over the plight of communal violence victims in Gujarat, Kashmiri Pandits today criticised the political spectrum for ''maintaining a deafening silence'' over the ''sufferings'' faced by a populace of more than 3.5 lakh after their migration due to militancy in 1990. ''Kashmiri Pandits can understand the plight of victims of the Gujarat violence as we have also undergone similar sufferings,'' said Kashmiri Samiti President Sunil Shakdher. He, however, alleged that the Gujarat incidents had ''exposed'' the double standards of the political parties, particularly the ''so-called secularists''. ''We find copious tears being shed for the Gujarat riot victims. But not even verbal sympathies have been expressed over the plight of Kashmiri Pandits, whose almost entire population of 3.5 lakh was uprooted because of Islamist terrorism,'' Shakdher said. ''The political parties found nothing wrong in uprooting of an entire community simply because it does not constitute a vote bank,'' he charged.