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Separatists troubled over ‘Composite Townships’ for Kashmiri Pandits

Posted in Featured, S. Asia

Published on April 10, 2015 with No Comments

Amid controversy over the proposal to build “composite townships” for displaced Kashmiri Pandits, separatist leader Yasin Malik has called for “peaceful protests” and a strike in the Kashmir Valley this week.

After union Home Minister Rajnath Singh asked the state’s chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed to provide land for such “composite townships,” questions are being asked on whether these townships will exclusively house rehabilitated Kashmiri Pandits. About three lakh Pandits had left the Valley when the first wave of militancy began 25 years ago.

“We won’t allow these townships of hatred and will oppose it tooth and nail. This is an attempt by the BJP to divide the people of Jammu and Kashmir on religious lines. We will not allow this to happen,” Mr Malik said .Like opposition parties, he said Kashmiri Pandits must return to their ancestral land, but must not live with everyone else and not in separate colonies.

Mufti’s party, the ruling People’s Democratic Party, indicated that the proposed townships will not be meant exclusively for Kashmiri Pandits, but was not explicit. “What we have said is very clear. It is going to be a composite township, everybody must understand the meaning of the word composite – we are bound to bring back Kashmiri Pandits, who are a part of our life, with honour and dignity, we are incomplete without them, we will get them back with honour and dignity. And it is not a time-bound process,” said Nayeem Akhtar, spokesperson for the PDP, which governs Jammu and Kashmir in alliance with the BJP, the ruling party at the Centre.


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