Rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits becomes a political hot potato

 

The rehabilitation of the Kashmiri pundits back to valley has become a political hot potato for the BJP government in Delhi as there in no one in Kashmir who is ready to accept even the idea of setting up composite townships in Kashmir.

The separatist groups, and even mainstream parties have rejected the idea of composite townships which they describe will be akin to Israel like situation. The separatists, and fundamentalists in valley have made it clear that Pandits will have to live in the same places, and area from where they migrated after insurgency spread in the state.

The BJP government in centre has been forced to go on back-foot over the issue of composite townships, and this has sent a very wrong message to the migrants as well people of Jammu region. They have been taken aback by the lack of steel shown by the saffron party which won a large number of seats by taking a firm stand on some controversial issues. However, the people are now worried about the kind of compromises which the party has had to make to remain in power by forming an alliance with the PDP which is completely Kashmir centric. When Indian government said that it was not planning any separate townships for pundits in valley it led to claims of victory by the separatists. They asserted that they had defeated the plans of Indian government to set up colonies in the state, and in the same manner they will ensure India leaves Kashmir.

The pundits meanwhile have reiterated that they would return to valley on their own terms and conditions, and nothing short of a union territory in the north of Kashmir would be acceptable for their return. They said that pundits do not want to become a pawn in the hands of terrorists. They also asserted that Pandits would not allow the conversion of J&K into an only muslim state, and called upon the government to prevent the radicalization of Kashmir valley.