After quarter century in exile, Kashmiri Pandits still on cross-roads of rehabilitation

Living as "refugees in their own country" for past quarter of a century, displaced Kashmiri Pandits say the biggest hurdle in their return to their roots in the Valley and rehabilitation was concerns for their safety and security.

Jammu: Living as "refugees in their own country" for past quarter of a century, displaced Kashmiri Pandits say the biggest hurdle in their return to their roots in the Valley and rehabilitation was concerns for their safety and security.

Most of KPs feel that one place-settlement is only alternative for return and rehabilitation of the minuscule community in Kashmir after ensuring their safety and security.

"Our core concern is safety and security for the community in Kashmir Valley," a prominent KP leader and National spokesperson of Prem Nath Bhat Memorial Trust, Dr R L Bhat said.

Dr Bhat, who left along with his family from Noorabad belt in Kulgam district in 1990, feels that the security aspect that whether the community would be able to live in Kashmir after their return is as relevant these days as it was during the days of migration.

"It is a quarter of a century of our exodus and we are nowhere near to any solution. Central and state government have failed to ensure any type of confidence building measure for community in terms of return of KPs to the Valley," Dr Bhat adds.

The leader of Jammu and Kashmir Vichar Manch said "one place-settlement is only alternative for rehabilitation of KPs in the Valley as the situation in Kashmir is very volatile."

Like him, Panun Kashmir Chairman Dr Ajay Chrungoo, who bats strongly for homeland in Kashmir for four lakh KPs, says "it is must for the reversal of the exodus of KPs from the Valley that terrorism is put to an end here".

Bihari Kak, an popular artist and member of Athwas Cultural Association also feels that security of the community is prime and first thing for return and rehabilitation of KPs in the Valley.

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