While opposing the plan of the PDP-BJP Government to allocate land for “composite townships” for the return of Kashmiri Pandits, National Conference Wednesday said that this move would be detrimental to the “idea of reconciliation between the two communities and was in fact part of a greater, nefarious plan” by PDP and BJP.
In a statement, NC General Secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar, while talking to journalists in Jammu, said, “the plan to settle Kashmiri Pandits in separate, isolated clusters was aimed to isolate and distance the two communities from each other.”
“Who plans to exploit the dividends of such policies is evident. These tactics will have an adverse effect on Jammu and Kashmir and this would not be the first time when PDP has compromised on the basic tenets of ‘Kashmiriyat’ for the petty trappings of power,” Sagar said.
He said that the Kashmiri Pandits were an integral part of the social fabric of J&K and that National Conference had worked harder for their return than any other political group.
“National Conference wants to welcome every single Kashmiri Pandit back to the Valley with utmost dignity and warmth and we want to welcome them back into the society – to their homes and hearths. However, this whole idea of ‘composite townships’ is aimed to engineer a long-lasting divide between Kashmiri Muslims and Pandits and will create a situation of ‘ghettoization’ – which is contrary to what Kashmiri Pandits and Kashmiri Muslims wants,” he added.
Lashing out at PDP for changing its colours with the changing wind, the NC General Secretary said PDP also opposed to idea of separate, “composite townships” for Kashmiri Pandits while it was out of power.
“However it seems PDP – while selling its soul to BJP for making Mufti Sayeed the Chief Minister has sold every single stand it had taken earlier. Now it seems that these bargains have been struck with the BJP to ensure a Cabinet berth for Mehbooba Mufti and God knows how many more sell-outs PDP will script for its evidently insatiable desire for political power at any cost,” Sagar said.
“We have provided reserved jobs to nearly 5000 Kashmiri Pandits as a part of our comprehensive policy to encourage the return of Kashmiri Pandits besides many other similar measures. However, what PDP and BJP are trying to do is bring back Kashmiri Pandits into isolated ghettos and barricaded compounds that isolate Kashmiri Pandits from Kashmiri Muslims. This policy of religious segregation is unacceptable to the people of Jammu and Kashmir irrespective of their faith, caste or creed,” Sagar further added.