Pandits were betrayed by their self styled well wishers: Farooq

NC president Dr Farooq Abdullah addressing NC Minority Cell convention at Sher-e-Kashmir Bhavan in Jammu on Saturday. — Excelsior /Rakesh
NC president Dr Farooq Abdullah addressing NC Minority Cell convention at Sher-e-Kashmir Bhavan in Jammu on Saturday. — Excelsior /Rakesh

‘No decision on meeting Delimitation Comm’
Avtar Bhat
JAMMU Dec 11: Without naming Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders, National Conference (NC), president and former Chief Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah today slammed the self-styled Messiahs of Kashmiri Pandits for betraying the community and using them as vote bank to create a division between the communities and hatred among the people.
Addressing a day long convention organized by NC Minority Cell at Sher-e-Kashmir Bhavan here today, Dr Abdullah said “You were used as vote bank by your so called well wishers but no one realised your pain and agony and fulfilled the promises made with you”.
While making a scathing attack on such forces, he said they are working against KPs interests and asked the Pandits not to fall in their trap.
While referring to Kashmiri Hindu Shrines Management Bill brought by the National Conference (NC) in 2009, he said he was almost threatened not to get this legislation through.
“Today they are pretending to be the well wishers of Kashmiri Pandits, whom they are using to strengthen their vote bank”, Farooq said and dared them to get the bill, as also the Women Reservation Bill, passed with their strong strength of over 300 members in Parliament.
“When they can get the bills on farm laws through, why can’t these bills”, he said, adding that the farm laws were rolled back for the fear of electoral debacle in five States.
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He said the Kashmiri Hindu Shrines Management Bill will definitely be passed when the National Conference will be mandated to form the Government. “They will never pass such a bill”, he said, adding that the Kashmiri Hindu Shrines Management Bill will be passed by the National Conference with support of the people.
Referring to the Kashmir situation post 1990, the National Conference president declared that Jammu and Kashmir will never go into the hands of those who believed in achieving this by engineering ethnic cleansing while referring to the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits over three decades ago.
“You have suffered a lot and what happened then had never been even comprehended, ” Dr Abdullah added while addressing the KPs’ gathering.
He recalled the horrendous events of the migration and said how the people of Kashmir felt helpless at times in coming to the rescue of the targeted people. He referred to certain incidents when the neighbours belonging to the majority community saved the properties and even lives of their minority brethren at the peril of their lives. He referred to the Nadimarg, Wanpoh, Wandhama and Budgam carnages where poor and innocent people were targeted.
Dr Abdullah called for bridging the gap between the communities and envisioned honourable and safe return of Kashmiri Pandits. He said the enemy is taking advantage of hatred brewing among the communities and there is need to shun this for the larger interest of peace and harmony.
He referred to the killing of Makhan Lal Bindroo and the subsequent viral video chat between a Pandit brother and sister, which is full of venom. This kind of hatred again resulted in the migration of Kashmiri Pandits to Jammu and the Government is shamefully continuing to be in denial and asked how long they will tell a lie.
He said the people have to introspect and build bridges as nobody will come to create a situation for reunion of the communities.
He recalled how Jagmohan facilitated the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits with the promise to get them back in two months. He got Padma Vibhushan but never brought KPs back, he said, adding that it was his plan to defame Kashmiri Muslims across the world. He said he was told by some officers how they were asked to arrange buses for KPs’ exodus.
Dr Abdullah said he realised the pain and agony of the community after the mass exodus when they have to live under open sky and small One Room Tenements (ORTs) in this scorching heat at Jammu. However, he complimented the people of Jammu who opened their hearts for them.
He said the NC will continue to work towards safe and honourable return of Kashmiri Pandits to their homes and hearths.
The NC president also decried the halting of Durbar Move, saying this was introduced by the Maharaja to cement the bonds between people of various regions and cultures. He said when during the NC Government he tried to keep some offices in Kashmir during winter season there was a hue and cry. “But now they halted the Darbar move and no body talked”, he added.
He said had this been done by Dr Abdullah there would have been again hue and cry but now no one is talking.
He said some people are talking of Dogra State. Youth from outside have been given employment in J&K by usurping our rights and asked if this practice will continue where the youth of J&K will go. “Are our youth inefficient as they are providing jobs to youth from outside J&K”? he asked.
He exhorted the KPs to preserve their culture and language.
Dr Abdullah said that complete peace and amity prevailed in Kashmir prior to 1947 but after that some vested interests from both communities divided the people for vote bank and created a hatred among them. This was the handiwork of those people in both the communities who don’t know what religion preaches in real sense, he added.
He said some leaders in Kashmiri Pandits who are BJP agents were misleading the community. “They are not working for community interest but for their own interests and welfare”, he added.
Dr Abdullah said that the Kashmiri Muslims faced discrimination in jobs earlier and after 1947 too not a single Muslim was appointed in the Telecommunication Department where some jobs were to be filled up. “Then Prime Minister of the J&K Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah took up this issue with then Education Minister, Moulna Abul Kalam Azad and asked him was not a single Kashmiri Muslim youth competent for the appointment in the Department”, he added.
Dr Abdullah said that his Government always wanted the honourable and dignified return of Kashmiri Pandits to Valley. “But after the massacre of Wandhama took place I gave up the idea as I thought the situation was not yet appropriate for the same, ” he added.
Dr Abdullah said “I always pray to God to bring us out of this turmoil so that the people can live in peace and harmony as they used to live for centuries together”.
On meeting Delimitation Commission, he said that the party has not taken any decision as yet on the issue. However, when they will go for the participation in the meeting, the party’s stand on the delimitation will be decided there at that time, he added.
Meanwhile, NC MP Hasnain Masoodi said from Srinagar they have received an invitation from the Delimitation Commission for a meeting in New Delhi on December 20 and that the party leadership will take a decision on their participation in it.
Masoodi said, “Yes, we have received the invitation for the meeting.”
He, however, said no agenda for the meeting was mentioned in the invitation.
“We have not been given any kind of agenda or draft report or any support material,” he added.
Asked whether the NC MPs will participate in the meeting, Masoodi said the party leadership would take a call on the matter.
“The party leadership will discuss the matter and take a decision,” he said.
Talking to some media persons on the sidelines of convention, Dr Abdullah strongly advocated for talks with Pakistan. He said when talks are held with China which has occupied Indian territory and constructed houses there why they can’t be held with Pakistan.
The convention was organised by NC Minority Cell, president, M K Yogi.
Earlier, provincial Vice President Anil Dhar read out three resolutions, seeking political empowerment of Kashmiri Pandits, their honourable return to their homes and hearths and passage of Kashmiri Hindu Shrines Management Bill.
Those who addressed the convention included Rattan Lal Gupta, M.K Yogi and Bushan Lal Bhat.
Prominent among those present on the occasion included Mushtaq Ahmed Shah Bukhari, Ajaz Jan, Israr Khan, Dr. Shamshad Shan, Laxami Dutta, Jatin Bhat, Kusam Tickoo, Ramesh Marhatta,, P.K Koul, Sharad Pandita, T.K Koul, Harminder Singh, Ashok Koul, Raj Bali, Chandra Dhar, Kuldeep Pandita, Dazzy Bajaz, Mohan Lal Comrade, P.L Talashi and others.