How long Pandits’ will lead exiled life; asks Bhan

Excelsior Correspondent

NEW DELHI, June 20: On the occasion of World Refugee Day chairman-Kashmir Policy and Strategy, Group, Ashok Bhan today said-realities are at times harsh and strange. The harsh ground reality in today’s age of free, independent and constitutional democratic India is that- Kashmir today is without Kashmiri Pandits. The aborigine community of Kashmir is out in exile, in this modern age of reason and enlightenment, he added.
Addressing a webinar he said the forced exodus of the Kashmiri Pandits in 1989-1990, designed to effect the motivated ethnic cleansing, will go down in the history of India and these native Kashmiris as a dark phase of contemporary times.
NHRC has ruled that the systematic ethnic cleansing inflicted on KPs is -“akin to genocide”
Therefore to give effect to NHRC finding and to probe into the causes of genocide it is the strong case of KPs on firm grounds legally and otherwise to set up a Commission of Inquiry headed by a retired Supreme Court Judge to be assisted by the DGP, Director IB, Director CBI and DG NIA to probe into the heinous crimes of murder, loot, rape, forcible grabbing of land and property belonging to KPs, grabbing of religious endowment properties across the Valley, and the conspiracy to inflict genocide on the 600,000-community of Kashmiri Pandits.
Bhan said all the peace efforts and political engagement by GOI are meaningless unless the exile of KPs is reversed and are physically returned with political empowerment back to their Homeland. But successive governments have failed so far to do this.
He demanded constitution of a State Minority Commission which will be one of the Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) in this direction.
Besides, he stressed on constitution of a high level commission of inquiry (SIT) headed by a retired Supreme Court Judge.
MHA should start a structured dialogue with KPs for designing a comprehensive time bound package for return, restitution, rehabilitation and political empowerment and before the commencement of the next Assembly elections in the JK UT, for its implementation, he added.
Moreover, a statutory Task Force headed by the Chief Secretary be constituted to protect, preserve and manage all the Valley’s Hindu religious shrines, endowments and properties.
If the exiled community is not repatriated back to their homeland with dignity, pride, security and political empowerment, it would be the failure of the incumbent Union Government and abject incompetence of LG administration, he added.