Return Policy On Youth From PAK A ‘flop Show’: Returnees

Return Policy On Youth From PAK A ‘flop Show’: Returnees

30 November 2013
Kashmir Times


Srinagar: The much hyped return and rehabilitation policy for youth who wanted to return home from Pakistan Administered Kashmir (PAK) has become a ‘flop show’ for around 900 people including women and children. Safiya (name changed) daughter of a person who returned his home in Srinagar under the amnesty scheme was pursuing bachelors in medicine in Fatima Jinnah medical college in Karachi. “When I reached Kashmir with my father, I was astonished to know that from frying pan we will land into fire. There is no concrete plan for people like us under this scheme. I wanted to join some medical college here to complete my degree but there is nobody to support my dream,” quoting Safiya, a close relative of her father told KNS. According to official sources, 277 individuals along with 140 wives and 438 children have returned via Nepal, which is not an approved route under the policy of 2010. Sources in the government said that there are many people like Safiya’s father who are reportedly wondering from here and there in pursuit of some business but so far have been complaining about cold shoulder response from everybody. “This is not the case of Safiya’s family alone but we have similar kind of reports from many districts to which the returnees under the amnesty scheme belong,” said a top officer in the civil secretariat, pleading not to be named. Another family that returned home when contacted by KNS said that its children suffered for want of school admissions. Some families have also complained that their applications for state subject certificates are not entertained by the district revenue offices. During the recently concluded autumn session of the legislative assembly here, the state government said it has received 1171 applications so far on behalf of the prospective returnees who are willing to return from Pakistan Administered Kashmir (PAK) under its return and rehabilitation policy. In a written response to a question posed by Mehbooba Mufti, the president of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and MLA, the government had said out of 1171 cases 12 have been recommended to the government of India, minister of home affairs for further necessary action. “386 cases are under examination in the home department. Applications of 24 individuals submitted by their relatives could not be considered further by the high level committee under the policy as these individuals have returned via Nepal which is not a recognized route under the policy,” the government reply read. Rest of the applications, the government has said, are being scrutinised and verified by the intelligence agencies. The government had further said that besides five ladies who had exflitrated earlier have returned along with 10 children. “Their cases are being dealt with in accordance with law. However, due to some inexplicable reasons, no individual has returned from PAK to the state through the routes identified under the policy so far, therefore, the benefit of the policy could not be extended to any of the individuals.” Pertinently, Mehbooba had asked about the number of youth who have returned from PAK under the rehabilitation policy and the details of financial aid etc. provided for rehabilitation after their return to the state indicating also the number of youth having gone back to PAK. Ali Mohammad Sagar, minister for rural development when contacted by KNS said: “The return and rehabilitation policy is clear and it addresses all the problems which will be faced by the families that return under this scheme. However, I will issue directions to divisional commissioner to look into the grievances of these families. And I assure you that all necessary steps would be taken to help these families out,” Sagar said.