Economic security essential for return of Pandits: Omar

Terming economic security as essential for the rehabilitation and return of migrant Kashmiri Pandits, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah tonight handed over appointment orders for government jobs to 1706 youths.

Jammu: Terming economic security as essential
for the rehabilitation and return of migrant Kashmiri Pandits,
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah tonight handed
over appointment orders for government jobs to 1706 youths
from the community who will be posted in the Valley.

He said Pandits have "suffered a lot" and more practical
action was required to encourage their return to Kashmir.

"Much progress has been achieved in creating a sense of
security among Pandit youths for return to their native place
in Kashmir Valley and economic security is an essential
ingredient in the rehabilitation and return of the migrants,"
the Chief Minister said.

He was addressing a gathering of Kashmiri Pandit migrants
at a function held at his residence here to distribute
appointment orders for government jobs to the candidates
selected by Service Selection Board under the Prime Minister`s
package for educated Kashmiri migrant youths.

The package is the component of a comprehensive programme
to encourage the return of Kashmiri migrants to their native
place. All Party Migrant Coordination Committee (APMCC) -- a
conglomeration of various Pandit organisations -- hailed the
decision of the state government to implement the job package.

"We welcome the Chief Minister`s initiative. Government
should also take other measures speedily to built confidence
among Pandit community," APMCC Chairman Vinood Pandit said.

As many as 6000 jobs are being created in various
government departments for Kashmiri migrants in two phases.
Under the first phase, 1706 selections have been made by the
Service Selection Board while 1300 are in the pipeline.

The migrant educated youths who have been selected would
serve in the Valley in various departments and help in the
return of migrant families, Omar hoped.

Recalling the the bloodshed and disturbance during the
period of militancy, he said lack of sense of security and
fear psychosis compelled the Pandits to leave the Valley.

"You have suffered a lot. You went through a difficult
period. Your new generation is unaware of the cultural
heritage and secular amity of which Kashmir has been an abode
for ages," he said adding, more practical action was required
to encourage the rehabilitation and return of Pandits.

"So far we only heard slogans in your favour and in
favour of your return to Kashmir," he said adding that
creation of economic security by way of providing jobs in
government sector to young educated Kashmiri Pandits in the
Valley was a concrete step in this direction.

"It will prove an important milestone in restoring their
confidence and return to the valley," said the Chief Minister.

Omar said his government will work in tandem with the
Centre to work for more job security and economic welfare of
Kashmiri migrants along with enhancing their sense of
security. He said the state government would take every
measure for the welfare and uplift of the community.

He said befitting accommodation for migrants has been
created at various places in Kashmir while many such housing
complexes are in the pipeline.

PTI