No Life Across LoC! 400 Return ‘home’

No Life Across LoC! 400 Return ‘home’

29 June 2012
The Daily Pioneer


New Delhi: Taken in by Pakistani propaganda that life is much better across the Line of Control (LoC) in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, several families from Kashmir crossed over only to regret their decision to do so. About 400 people have returned in the last five years including a group of 60 including men, women and children who came back in the last five months. These people went to POK illegally from border areas like Kupwara, Poonch and some other points of Kashmir and returned via Nepal. While security agencies were concerned over the fact that the Kashmiri families managed to slip back into the country through Nepal, subsequent inquiries established that most of them were innocent. Infiltration and ex-filtration from the heavily guarded and fenced 750-km long LOC has become difficult in the last couple of years and militants and these misguided families are now using the Nepal route, officials said here on Friday. Elaborating upon the new infiltration route, they said it is easy to come into India from Nepal and then take a train or a plane to reach Kashmir. While the last railway station is Udhampur in Jammu division, one can fly directly to Srinagar or Leh, they said. As regards the 400 people who returned to Kashmir since 2008, officials said most of them were innocent and the State Government is now rehabilitating them. In fact, 61 people returned home in the last five months and all of them were found to be innocent, they said, adding this batch had gone to POK three years back and found the going hard. Most of these families were enamoured by Pakistani propaganda about a more prosperous and better life there in places like Muzaffarabad. However, discrimination against Kashmiris by the Punjabi-dominated bureaucracy and Army across the border did not allow these families to settle down. Moreover, POK and Northern areas including Gilgit and Baltistan do not enjoy the same rights and freedom available to an average Pakistani in mainland. Realising the futility of chasing a dream in such conditions, the families who had crossed over, decided to come back, sources said.