JAMMU: The All Parties Migrants Coordination Committee (APMCC), a body representing migrant Kashmiri Pandits today termed the setting up of an advisory board for the displaced community as a "good beginning".
"We welcome the statement of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh for setting up of an advisory board for Kashmiri migrants, thus fulfilling our long pending demand," APMCC said in a statement here.
On January 24, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had advised the state government to constitute an advisory board to address the grievances of displaced Pandits, Jammu migrants and refugees from PoK, Chhamb and West Pakistan.
At a meeting of the APMCC, chaired by its president Vinod Pandit, the directive of the union minister was hailed with members saying it was heartening to know that the Centre had agreed to its demand and that setting up of an advisory board was a good beginning.
However, it said that all stakeholders must be consulted before its final implementation, besides constituting it, as a duly elected board for mass acceptance rather than making it a toothless tiger.
The APMCC said it had submitted the suggestion for setting up of a Kashmiri Pandit Welfare Board in 2005 to the then prime minister Manmohan Singh.
The demand for setting up of the board was later discussed with Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he was chief minister of Gujarat at his residence in 2013, they said.
The APMCC has been fighting for various community causes including re-opening of Shardha Mata temple in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and Kounsar Nag Yatra in Kashmir, Kashmiri Pandit Employees issues besides organizing Gangbal Yatra and Mata Katyayani annual hawan.