108 Kashmiri militants to return home from PoK

More than 100 Kashmiri militants, who crossed over to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) years ago to embrace militancy, are expected to return home next month accepting government`s special rehabilitation policy.

Last Updated: Jun 23, 2011, 21:38 PM IST

New Delhi: More than 100 Kashmiri militants,
who crossed over to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) years ago
to embrace militancy, are expected to return home next month
accepting government`s special rehabilitation policy.

A high level committee comprising representatives of the
Jammu and Kashmir government, Ministry of Home Affairs, Army
and others has scrutinised the applications and verified the
antecedents of the militants who want to surrender and live a
peaceful life and has cleared 28 names.
"80 more names will be cleared by the end of this month.
Hopefully, all these 108 militants will return home next
month," an official said.

Altogether, around 700 applications were received by the
Jammu and Kashmir government on behalf of the militants, many
of them are married and have children and want to come back
and live a peaceful life availing the new special surrender
and rehabilitation policy.

"Rest of the applications will be cleared phase-wise
after scrutiny," the official said.

The policy, announced last year, covers all people (and
their dependents) who crossed over to PoK between 1989 and
2009 to embrace militancy and now want to return to lead a
peaceful life.

The scheme includes identification, screening, travel,
debriefing, rehabilitation and reintegration of the militants
willing to give up arms.
The policy will be implemented by the Jammu and Kashmir
government with active support of the Central government.

A few officials of the Indian High Commission in
Islamabad are expected to travel to PoK capital Muzaffarabad
to issue travel permits of these 108 people.

New Delhi is working out with Islamabad how to facilitate
the travel of the embassy officials to Muzaffarabad.

These militants have given up arms long ago due to a
change of heart and are willing to return to the state.

The issue of return of Kashmiri youth from PoK shot to
prominence in 2006 when a delegation of leaders from Jammu and
Kashmir, including Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and PDP chief
Mehbooba Mufti, went to Pakistan.

Several Kashmiris in PoK met them and pleaded to
facilitate their return, saying they were "homesick".

PTI