The state government is vigorously pursuing for recognition of Nepal as an approved route for the youth who want to shun violence and return to Valley from Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) under ‘rehabilitation policy’.
This has been disclosed by the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah in his reply to a DO letter written to him by Yousuf Tarigami, the CPI (M) State Secretary and MLA Kulgam. According to the reply, Omar has said that his government has already taken up the matter with the union ministry of Home Affairs for exploring the possibility of recognizing Nepal as one of the routes for return of such people which is being pursued vigorously.
Tarigami had shot a letter to Omar on May 9, 2014 with reference to death of Saira Bano daughter of Mohammad Sadiq Khan resident of Dalhozi Abbotabad PaK. Saira had immolated herself before she battled for life at SKIMS Soura. “I share deep pain and concern at the tragic death of Saira Bano who was married to Abdul Majeed Lone son of Ali Mohammad Lone resident of Bathipora Naidkhai (Bandipora),” Omar has said in his reply to Tarigami’s letter.
According to the chief minister Lone had crossed over to PaK in July 1993 and returned to the state along with his wife and three children (all below 10 years of age) via Nepal in June 2012 to join his family at Bandipora Kashmir. “Reportedly after joining the family there had a property dispute within the family. Under the distressed state of affairs Saira had been insisting for her return back to PaK but could not do so as she was not in possession of the requisite travel documents. The situation led to acrimony in the relations which prompted Saira to take extreme step of self immolation resulting in her death. The state police have already registered FIR in this behalf under number 84/2014 under section 309 RPC,” Omar has said in his reply.
The chief minister has said: “Here I would like to invite your (Tarigami) attention towards the rehabilitation policy which was notified by the state government in consultation with the union ministry of home affairs in the year 2010. The main objective of the policy is to motivate the youth to return to the state who had crossed over to PaK and have now eschewed the path of violence and are willing to join the national mainstream.”
Pertinently, the government has approved four routes, Wagah-Attari, Salamabd-Uri, Chakan-da-Bagh-Poonch and Indira Gandhi international Airport-New Delhi for the purposes of return of youth under the said policy.
“However, it has been observed that majority of the returnees are opting to return via Nepal. The avoidance of the return through approved routes by returnees is presumably attributed to the certain difficulties faced by them including threat to their lives from inimical forces operating from across the border. Though Nepal is not an approved route for the purpose and the beneficiaries as such are not entitled to the benefits envisaged in the rehabilitation policy,” Omar has said in his reply. The chief minister has said that the state government is trying to facilitate the returnees by way of providing education to their children etc ‘but they have not been able to fully integrate themselves with the society as yet.’ (KNS)