A day after a shutdown in Kashmir Valley against the Centre’s proposed rehabilitation plan for the Kashmiri Pandits and Sainik colonies, J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti slammed the Opposition for making a fracas out of a non-issue.
Lal Chowk wears a deserted look following a shutdown call by separatist groups. PTI Photo
She told the opposition leaders that the colonies for the soldiers are not for outsiders but for those who are state subjects.
“The proposal is in the process since the previous government,” she pointed out. Speaking in the state assembly, Mufti, leading a BJP-PDP government, said that her government has not yet identified the land but is eager to accommodate the Pandits in transit camps.
Her statement in the assembly was aimed at putting to rest the allegations of the three major separatist leaders who united against the Modi Government’s plan of building separate colonies for Pandits as well as the plans for Sainik colonies.
All three separatist leaders – Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik – united in opposition to the Pandit rehabilitation plan ever since the government identified land for a separate colony in Baramulla.
Kashmir Media Service
They said that they are not opposed to the return of Pandits to the Valley but against ghettoization of the community, which they allege is a plan to weaken the separatist struggle.
Mufti, however, pointed out that accommodating Pandits in their original land is not possible because even Muslim migrants cannot be accommodated in their native villages.
“I assure you that I will bring back Kashmiri Pandits, and they can live wherever they want to. We accommodated them in transit camps and gave all facilities,” said Mehbooba.
She reminded the Opposition that the All Party Working Group has agreed on separate transit camps for Pandits.