JK Govt ‘forgets’ PaK returnees

Children Denied Admission In Schools; Families Suffer For Want Of Basic Amenities

SHAM REHABILITATION POLICY?

AAQIB ASHRAF

Srinagar, Feb 3: The much-hyped Rehabilitation Policy is proving to be a damp squib with more than 200 ex-militants along with their families, who have returned back to Kashmir via Nepal, facing immense hardships. The former militants along with their families traveled back to Kashmir via Nepal border after the State and Central government started beating the trumpet of Rehabilitation Policy.
 The policy was intended to facilitate return of former militants who belong to J&K and had crossed over to PaK and Pakistan for arms training. “The policy is meant for the youth who gave up the idea of picking up arms due to change of heart and are willing to return. The policy will be applicable to those who went to PaK or Pakistan between January 1, 1989 and December 31, 2009,” the policy document reads.
 The families of ex-militants who have come to Kashmir are facing difficulties. “While the Chief Minister continues to say that any ex-militant who wants to return to Kashmir is welcome, we are denied basic rights by the state government. We are just unwelcome,” said Ahsan-ul-Haq, President of PaK-Return Rehabilitation Forum, a body formed by returned ex-militants. 
 Ahsan said they are giving the state government an ultimatum of 30 days to meet their demands. “If the government fails to recognize our demands, we will lodge a strong protest against it,” he said.
 The returned militants said their children are denied admission in schools. “The J&K State Board of School Education doesn’t even consider academic certificates of our children who have studied in PaK,” said Abdul Majeed Bhat, a returned ex-militant. “We aren’t even considered citizens. We are not provided ration cards, passport or identity cards or any such service that a common Kashmiri enjoys.” 
 The apathy of ex-militants is such that they can’t even go back to PaK or Pakistan. “Our condition has worsened to such extent that we can’t even go back to PaK now. We have spent every penny we had to come back to Kashmir and now we request the state government to accept us as citizens or provide a safe passage for us to go back to PaK,” said a group of ex-militants.
 Pertinently the ex-militants have traveled back to Kashmir via Nepal border, which is not an identified route to return as per the Rehabilitation Policy.  The routes identified for return of ex-militants were Wagah border, PCP Attari, Salamabad (Baramulla), Chakandabagh (Poonch) and Indira Gandhi International Airport New Delhi.

Lastupdate on : Sun, 3 Feb 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 3 Feb 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 4 Feb 2013 00:00:00 IST




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