AFTER the Union Government put a seal of approval on the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s amnesty to Kashmiri terrorists, who had crossed over to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), several Jammu-based political and social groups reacted sharply to the decision, threatening that initiation of such a move would invite massive protests in the region.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has warned the Union Government against its amnesty policy for rehabilitation of terrorists under-going training in PoK camps, and has decided to launch a nation-wide agitation against the move which will begin from Jammu on February 25, the day of Indo-Pak foreign secretary level talks.
BJP state president, Shamsher Singh Manhas told this reporter that BJP will not tolerate any compromise on national interests and the Party will launch a Praja Parishad type movement throughout the country from February 25. The protest on February 25 will be led by BJP national president, Nitin Gadkari, he said, adding the Party will also gherao the Union Home Minister, P Chidambaram, during his visit to City of Temples on February 17 on the issue.
Shri Manhas said during the NDA rule, India had made General Musharraf agree that the land of Pakistan will not be used for any terrorist activities against India. The UPA Government had said that it will not hold parleys with Pakistan till the terrorists involved in the 26/11 terror attack are punished by Pakistan. But later they started parleys, he added.
While criticising the Central Government’s appeasement policy towards the separatists and anti-national elements, he said the Party is ready to pay any price for protecting the national cause.
They are going to rehabilitate the people who have been living in Pakistan for over 20 years, were married in that country and have children also. The Government is concerned for those who destroyed the state and not for the law-abiding citizens who were forced to flee from different parts of J&K by terrorists.
“The eagerness on part of the National Conference over this issue can be understood because of its dubious role all along. This move provided credence to the allegations that many of the misguided youths were sent across the borders in Pakistan by the then ruling leaders of the National Conference in late eighties,” the BJP president alleged.
Shri Manhas remarked, “If the ultras residing in PoK can get liberty for their return to this state after the expiry of twenty years, then why not those who had migrated to Pakistan during the troubled days of 1947 and had opted the citizenship of that country but still are having their properties being looked after by the Custodian Department in Jammu and Kashmir?”
The Government should have a clear policy on the rehabilitation of Kashmiri Hindu migrants, PoK, West Pak refugees and migrants from other parts of Jammu region. It should also have a clear-cut policy for farmers, traders, industrialists, unemployed youth and show concern about price rise instead of talking about the resettlement of terrorists, he said.
Brigadier (Retd.) Suchet Singh, convener Shri Amarnath Yatra Sangharsh Samiti, accused the Home Minister of announcing the amnesty for the terrorists who are operating against India from PoK. He said the Union Home Ministry has totally surrendered before the anti-national elements and such a policy will not only boost the morale of terrorists and separatists in the state of J&K but also endanger national integrity and security
Making a scathing attack on the Union Government, he said the Home Minister is so much eager to please such elements that he overlooked the objections of his own cabinet colleague and former Chief Minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad that there is no guarantee that the youth, who had crossed the LoC to join the terrorist training camps established by Pakistan in PoK, will not prove to be a security threat. It simply shows that the Union Cabinet Ministers are not themselves in agreement on the issue, he added.
The Samiti leader has appealed to all the social, political and religious organisations, students’ and teachers’ bodies, traders, advocates, transporters and industrialists to go to masses and educate them about the ill-effects of the so-called surrender policy. He urged them to organise protest rallies and other types of demonstrations and mobilise public opinion against the Government policy.
Various Kashmiri Pandit organisations including All State Kashmiri Pandit Conference, Panun Kashmir and J&K Vichar Manch recently formed an amalgamation, which has expressed its serious concern over the Union Government’s surrender policy.
It, while rejecting the surrender policy, said the proposed move of the Government for the rehabilitation of those terrorists who have gone across the LoC for arms training is fraught with dangerous consequences.
It said these very terrorists called now boys are the killers of Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley and minority Hindus and nationalist Muslims in Jammu region. The attempt of two NC ministers to equate their return with the return of KPs is simply the outcome of a sick mentality.
It further said the KPs are the victims of genocide and ethnic cleansing at the hands of these very terrorists and will never allow any Government to bring them back at the peril of national security. As a result of the actions of these terrorists, a full-fledged community of half a million people was forced to leave Kashmir and has been living a refugee life for the last 20 years, it added.
The convenor of the Refugee Sangharsh Morcha, Narinder Singh said, “If the Union Home Minister P Chidambaram understands that PoK is an integral part of India and thinks it fit to rehabilitate terrorists from there, he should have first considered rehabilitation of PoK refugees who are being victimised from many years.” He informed that it has been decided to rope in various social and political outfits for a serious consideration on this issue and has also been decided to launch a comprehensive agitation against it if such a move is initiated by the Government.
Similarly, Jammu and Kashmir People’s Forum, an amalgamation of several social groups, also castigated the ruling dispensations at the Centre and the State. “In competition to expand his party’s base in different constituencies, Omar has started pursuing the agenda of separatists by way of proposing to the Centre to formulate a policy to grant amnesty to thousands of terrorists. Now being induced by the likes of Omar to return to Kashmir for purposes, which appear to be motivated,” Ramesh Sabharwal, state convenor, JKPF, said. He pointed out that it is the most ridiculous proposal which, if implemented, will deteriorate the already disturbed situation and make the task of security forces further difficult to save the lives and property of innocent civilians.