JAMMU: All India Kashmiri Samaj (AIKS) an organisation of the displaced members of the Kashmiri Pandit community today said that the only acceptable option for the community's return is the creation of concentrated settlements for the community in the Kashmir valley.
"The only acceptable option for the KP community's return is the creation of concentrated settlements for the community. "They should be self-sufficient in terms of overall infrastructure, economic avenues, adequate land, decent accommodation, educational institutions, health care, recreation centers, commercial infrastructures and security," a resolution passed by the AIKS during two day global conference held in Jammu said. The AIKS said that the Kashmiri Pandit community demands political empowerment in order to protect their identity and promote their socio-cultural interests.
"As a microscopic minority, we are not in a position to send any of our representatives to the legislature on our own strength. "Therefore, a statutory provision, through which our representatives can become members of the Legislative Assembly, Legislative Council, needs to be institutionalised," the resolution said.
It said the Global Conference demands that adequate reservations for the community, both in the State Legislature and the local bodies, be provided through constitutional guarantees. The community also demanded that the Government of India initiate steps immediately to set in motion the process of declaring the community as Internally Displaced People (IDP), as enunciated by the UN Human Rights Charter. "To preserve the ethno-religious identity of this minuscule minority, the Global Conference calls upon the government, both Central and the State, to initiate necessary steps to grant minority status to Kashmiri Pandit community," it read.
It stated that the Government must immediately constitute a Commission of Enquiry headed by a sitting Judge of the Supreme Court of India to probe into the circumstances of the KP community's ethnic cleansing from the Valley in 1989-1990, identify and bring to justice all those responsible for it. "The State government should consider setting up of special economic zones with full financial support thus offer business opportunities to displaced over aged youths as they have lost employment opportunity over 26 years", it said.
The AIKS also demanded the government to take all steps needed to protect all the Temples and Shrines in Kashmir Valley and initiate legal action against those who have destroyed or desecrated such temples and shrines. "The Conference resolves that the displaced community should be compensated properly by the losses suffered by them by way of yield in agriculture and horticulture, trade and commerce and destruction of immovable property during the last 26 years," it said.
AIKS demanded that a committee be constituted with representation from Central and state government and KP community, to oversee their demands. During the two days conference held various leaders of the community also threw light on the problems being faced by the community members since their migration from the valley 26 years ago.
Speaking on the occasion BJP MLC Surinder Ambardar said that his party aware of many problems facing the KP community and is committed to their return to Kashmir with honour and dignity.