January 2016 News

Kashmir Will Only Be Complete When Pandits Return: Farooq Abdullah

24 January 2016
Abhijeet Kar

Srinagar: Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdulla on Sunday during an event said that Kashmir is complete only when the Kashmiri pandits come back to the state. Abdulla was recently even quoted as saying that the time has come for the Kashmiri Pandits living in various parts of the country to return to the Valley with dignity and honour. 'I had maintained that they (Kashmiri Pandits) have to come back home. Nobody is going to call them and ask them to return time has come when they must return home with honour and dignity and the people here are waiting for them,' Abdullah said here. 'We discussed it during my tenure as Chief Minister in 1996 and at that time, we tried every method to bring the community back,' Abdulla added. Twenty-six years after Kashmiri Pandits were forced to flee the Valley, former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Farooq Abdullah has put the blame on them for not returning to their homes.'They have to realise that nobody is going to come with a begging bowl and say come and stay with us. They have to make the move,' Abdulla said. While speaking at a book launch of first hand narratives relating to stories of persecution and struggle by several generations of Pandits evicted from the state and one who always wanted to return to the state and peacefully co-exist with their Muslim neighbours. Abdullah said that several Pandits who had made their homes in Delhi had come to see him when the J and K government asked them to return to the Valley. On January 19, 1990, India witnessed the biggest even exodus of people since the partition. Around four to five lakh minority Hindus of Kashmir, Kashmiri Pandits, left their homes following threats and persecution by Muslim radicals and Islamic militants. The killings of Kashmiri Pandits which had begun in 1989 had a catastrophic effect with the state government failing to provide them with security. With no help from the government, approximately 100,000 of the total Kashmiri Pandit population of 140,000 left the valley. Kashmiri Pandits commemorate January 19 as Kashmiri Pandit Exodus Day, hoping to return home someday.