Let Kashmiri Pandits Manage Amarnath Yatra, PDP Tells Delhi

Let Kashmiri Pandits Manage Amarnath Yatra, PDP Tells Delhi

10 September 2012
Deccan Herald


Srinagar: Accusing New Delhi of interfering in the religious affairs of the state, the opposition, Peoples Democratic Party’s chief spokesperson Dr Sameer Kaul on Monday demanded handing over of the management of Annual Amarnath yatra to local Pandits. “New Delhi is unnecessarily into the religious affairs of our state and trying to disturb the age old communal harmony and brotherhood in Kashmir,” the PDP leader aid while addressing a public gathering in Pahalgam area of south Kashmir. He urged New Delhi to keep religion away from politics and leave it to Kashmiris to solve their religious matters. Asking for handing over of the management Amarnath pilgrimage to the Kashmiri Pandits Kaul said, “Earlier it was always the Kashmiri Muslims who used to facilitate Pandits for conducting the Yatra. But now the government is unnecessarily interfering in it”. Castigating the ruling National Conference (NC) of exploiting the sentiments of Kashmiris for power, the PDP spokesperson said, “It is (NC) leaders, in order to remain in power, who always have been trying to give an impression to New Delhi that they only are the real Indians who always be loyal to them and all other people in Kashmir are Pakistanis.” India-Pakistan Two days after India and Pakistan signed a liberalised visa regime and agreed to speed up cross-LoC confidence building measures, opposition DP patron and former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on Monday said destinies of people of the state can’t be guided through remote control. “Unless the peace process between India and Pakistan is redirected to Jammu & Kashmir specific measures as had happened in 2003, the dialogue will lack meaning for the people of this state who are the main stakeholders in reconciliation between the two countries,” Mufti said while addressing a public gathering in Pahalgam area of south Kashmir. He asserted that decisions about Jammu and Kashmir will be taken by the people of the state. The Indo-Pak foreign minister-level talks concluded on Saturday with both the countries signing a liberalised visa agreement, introducing for the first time group tourist and pilgrim visas, separate visa for businessmen and visa on arrival for those over 65 years of age.