National Conference will continue to work towards safe, honourable return of Kashmiri Pandits: Farooq Abdullah

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Jammu: National Conference (NC) President Dr Farooq Abdullah on Saturday (December 11) targeted BJP for using Kashmiri Pandits for their political benefits. The NC passed resolutions, seeking political empowerment of Kashmiri Pandits, their honourable return to their homes and passage of Kashmiri Hindu Shrines Management Bill. 

Addressing a day-long convention organized by President JKNC Minority Cell President M K Yogi at Sher-e-Kashmir Bhavan here, Farooq Abdullah referred to the Kashmiri Hindu Shrines Management Bill brought by the NC in 2009 and said he was almost threatened not to get this legislation through.

“Today they are pretending to be the well wishers of Kashmiri Pandits, who they are using to strengthen their vote bank”, Abdullah 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. 

The former J&K chief minister said the Kashmiri Hindu Shrines Management Bill will definitely be passed when the NC will be mandated to form the government. “They will never pass such a bill”, he said without naming the BJP, adding that the Kashmiri Hindu Shrines Management Bill will be passed by his party with the support of the people.

Referring to the Kashmir situation post-1990, the NC chief 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 has never been even comprehended, ” Abdullah told Kashmiri Pandits.

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 Wanpoh, Wandhama and Budgam carnages where poor and innocent people were targeted.

Farooq Abdullah also apologised to the Kashmiri Pandit community for not having been able to safeguard them in the 1990s when the Kashmiri Pandit exodus took place. “During NC’s regime, we tried our best to ensure the return of the Pandit community to the Valley, but some elements sabotaged the whole process by executing massacres of Pandits,” he said.

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 said his party will continue to work towards safe and honourable return of Kashmiri Pandits to their homes and hearths.

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