Will redouble efforts to bring Pandits back to Kashmir: Farooq Abdullah

Jammu and Kashmir National Conference President Dr Farooq Abdullah on Wednesday said Kashmiri Pandit community is an essential part of the cultural milieu of Kashmir and the  need of the hour is to defeat the vested interests  that are hell bent  to  fashion the wedge between two communities.

Addressing a delegation of Kashmiri Pandits at his Srinagar residence, the Party president said Pandits are part and parcel of Kashmiri culture.

“We as a society are incomplete without our Kashmiri Pandit brethren. The community has traditionally been known for its penchant for learning, writing and other endowments.  Notwithstanding the turbulence of the past few decades, the cultural equation of brotherhood and camaraderie stand as strong as it had been for decades,” Abdullah said. “There are some vested interests that drive their sustenance by propagating animosity and mistrust. I can understand the agony of Kashmiri Pandits living away from their motherland, but Kashmiri Muslims have been equally unfortunate because of the conflict that snatched thousands of our youth during this period.”

While underscoring the need to forge unity Abdullah said the Muslims of Kashmir have always gone out of their way to help the Kashmiri pandit brethren in their difficulties.

“Be it Amarnath Yatra or any other festive occasion, Kashmir Muslims have always lent all sort of assistance and support to their pandit brethren. The equation between the two communities has always been a thorn in the eyes of those who don’t want us to live in unity, because it hurts their interests,” Abdullah said.  “It is encouraging to see that vast majority of the Kashmiri pandit community wants to live alongside with their Muslim brethren in the valley, rejecting the destructive and divisive ideology of those few who want to divide the state on communal lines.”

He further added: “Whole of Kashmir belongs to Kashmiri pandits as it is to Kashmiri Muslims. Both I firmly believe are the rightful owners of this land. We have been trying our level best to bring back the community to valley. Many effective employment schemes were doled out during the Omar Abdullah led government to help the community to settle back in Kashmir”.

However, Abdullah said, the successive BJP-PDP government was not able to carry forward the momentum of the good work done until 2014. “For last few years we have only been hearing useless slogan mongering and fanfare. Nothing substantial was done in that direction. However once in power we will rejuvenate the efforts of bringing them back to their homes with dignity.”

Earlier party president visited the Asaar e Sharief Shahri Kalash pora where he prayed for peace and property of the state.

Party president also paid a visit to Ganderbal to express condolences with the family of late Zafar Ahmad Bhat son of  Ex MLA Maqbool Ahmad Bhat. It is pertinent to mention here that Zafar Ahmad had lost his life in an accident the other day. Party president offered Fateh for the deceased and expressed unity with the family in their hour of grief.