Recognise exodus, ethnic cleansing of Pandits as genocide: AIKS

AIKS representatives at a conclave at Delhi on Sunday.
AIKS representatives at a conclave at Delhi on Sunday.

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Mar 17: All India Kashmiri Samaj (AIKS) held a conclave in Delhi today in which delegates from all over the country participated. During deliberations presided over by AIKS president, Col. (retd.) Tej Tikoo the delegates discussed the demands which have been projected to various agencies over the years.
The delegates included Shiban Khaibri, MK Jalali, A K Raina and Vijay Kashkari from Jammu. Dr. K. L. Chowdary addressed the delegates telephonically. Dr. Chowdry backed and blessed AIKS for it’s endures.
The conclave demanded that the Government must constitute a Commission of Inquiry headed by a sitting judge of the Supreme Court to probe into the circumstances and fix responsibility for ethnic cleansing of the entire Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley in early 1989-90. It must recognise the exodus and ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Pandits as genocide, taking into consideration the violence let loose by Pakistan-sponsored, separatists and religiously motivated terrorists in the Valley, the only option available and acceptable for KPs rehabilitation in Kashmir is to create a concentrated settlement for the community at a single unit. This city should be self-sufficient in terms of overall infrastructure, economic avenues, adequate land, decent accommodation, educational institutions, medical care, recreation centers, commercial infrastructures, etc.
It also demanded a statutory provision should be institutionalised for political empowerment of the community which is an instrument of protecting and promoting the identity of a minority community, besides adequate reservations for the community, both in the State Assembly, Parliament and in the local bodies, to preserve its ethno-religious identity. The AIKS called upon the Government, both Central and the State, to initiate necessary steps to grant ‘minority status’ to the KPs.
AIKS noted with concern that the community members who had braved to stay on in the Valley have lived a miserable life under the fear of gun. Their social and economic retrieval is, therefore, integral to the restitution of the community in the entirety in Kashmir. Similarly the youth under PM employment package, are living in very difficult conditions it demanded that their living conditions be ameliorated and service conditions improved by deleting discriminatory clauses.
The AIKS called upon the Government to take urgent steps to protect and preserve the age-old heritage of the community in the shape of temples, shrines and all religious institutions. The bill in this regard remained pending in the Legislative Assembly and subsequently lapsed. The Government should come with a legislation for protection of these religious places.
AIKS supports Prem Nath Bhat Memorial Trust (PNBMT) in its struggle for passage of Bill.
The conclave denounced the Pulwama attack while discussing recent developments in the State.
The general secretary of AIKS, M K Pajan conducted the proceedings.