An organisation of overseas Kashmiri Pandits on Tuesday urged the government to rehabilitate the displaced members of the community in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir which will come into existence on October 31 after the reorganisation of the state.
“Actions taken by the Indian government after the abrogation of Article 370 and 35A directly impacts our existence. A new light of hope has energized our community for the first time after our forced exodus three decades ago,” the Kashmiri Overseas Association (KOA) said.
Members of the Kashmiri Pandits community from across the US gathered in a Maryland suburb of Washington DC over the weekend for a day-long conference to discuss the post-Article 370 situation.
The development, they said, has brought out “many pent-up memories of loss and pain”.
“Each of us has our own stories of our lost childhood, lost homes mixed with feelings of lost friendships, betrayal and a feeling of being disowned, dispossessed and uprooted,” KOA president Shakun Malik said in a statement.
In a resolution, the KOA urged the Indian government to establish in Jammu and Kashmir an environment of empowerment, sustainable development and foolproof security based on the principle of non-refoulement.
It appealed to the Centre to develop programmes and services that will provide security, job opportunities, business opportunities, health care, education, and cultural preservation and promotion for the Kashmir Pandit community in the newly established Jammu and Kashmir.
It also demanded the rehabilitation of Kashmir Pandits.
Demanding the government to undertake confidence building measures between the communities in Jammu and Kashmir to foster peace and brotherhood, the KOA urged that safety and security of those Hindu families who continued to live and work in the valley and to the families still living in “sub-human” conditions of temporary camps in Jammu be granted “utmost importance”.