Reflecting upon the Rehabilitation Policy of former militants in Place in Kashmir Sajad Lone Chairman Peoples Conference has stated: “While reintegration of former militants into societies forms an essential element of peace-building in war-torn societies, in Kashmir – ever the aberration – it is a consciously undermined facet.” In a statement issued to KNS, Lone while explaining the concept has reiterated, “Forming an integral part of the standard DDR (Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration) operations it has been featuring prominently in the mandates of peace keeping operations across the world over the past twenty years. Ironically in Kashmir it has been an element consciously scuttled.”
The statement said that the PC chairman was intrigued to read the statement of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah wherein he declared that only 12 militants have been cleared under the Rehabilitation Policy announced in 2010 out of 1171 applications received on behalf of the prospective returnee’s.
“It seems that rather than facilitating the return and assimilation of former militants who now wish to return to their homeland and pick up the threads of their lives the Policy has been designed to deter any such possibility. By making the process of return so cumbersome and mired in beaureucratic red tape it signals the intent of the government to dissuade former militants from even wanting to think of having another chance at normalcy in their native homeland”. Reflecting the thoughts of the party Chairman the party spokesperson added whereas under ‘Reintegration’ termed as Rehabilitation policy in Kashmir former combatants acquire civilian status, avenues of employment and financial sustainability and an overall social security in the form of special quota’s for their children in educational institutions etc, not even minimal such mechanisms are in place in Kashmir or seem likely in the near future.
“By consciously complicating and delaying the return of former combatants through the official ascribed routes; those defying the conscious delay on part of the state government and returning through other routes are out rightly denied any such benefits. Not only does this defeat the whole essence of ‘Reintegration’ and peace building but also betrays the governments intents of stigmatizing the entire concept of return by making the lives of those who choose to return as an example and a means of humiliation,” Lone has said adding that the same goes for those former militants who reside within Kashmir.
According to Lone “Far from a respectable reintegration into society they are subjected to enormous physical and psychological strain by frequent summoning by the various security forces, denied rights to aspects such as CID clearances so essential for the undertaking of any enterprise in a securitized state as Kashmir, the denial of entitlement to Passports not only by their immediate kin but also remote relatives, the denial of educational incentives wherein even the offsprings having acquired prestigious degree’s of higher education are denied recognition. Far from any lofty concessions even basic human rights and survival are made into such an everyday struggle for them”. The party spokesperson added “This is in keeping with the present government’s strategy of undermining any return of normalcy or peace-building in the state. It in fact forms part of the larger political construct of the two Delhi patronized oligarchies of the state – NC and PDP who having maintained a calibrated distance from the struggles of the common Kashmiri during the height of his adversity now only find political legitimacy in maintaining conflict and confusion within Kashmir”.