Monday, June 30, 2014

Round Table Meet

The Kashmiri Pandit exodus is now into its 25th year. For the first time Kashmiri Pandits see a ray of hope in a national leader. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s robust espousal of the national interest, a no non-sense approach to security related challenges and an unqualified commitment to national integrity are particularly a matter of assurance for us, the Hindus of Kashmir in exile.

Along with this hope have risen some apprehensions too. Whether those in the government vested with the task, are sufficiently aware of the issues and the challenges involved? Are they reaching out to the community for wider consultations?

The recent spate of meetings the senior government officials and some ministers have had with the usual suspects from within the community is a matter of concern. Also, linking the return of the exiled community to the valley with only money, jobs and land is even bigger reason for alarm. This is a renewed attempt to sell the same non-solutions that the old congress governments have been attempting in the past. Such attempts tend to reduce our exodus from the valley to some kind of a natural calamity like famine flood or earth quake.       

Roots in Kashmir, the frontline organization of the exiled Kashmiri Pandits, organized a ‘Round Table Conference” in Delhi, where the leading Kashmiri Pandit organizations and credible individual activists were invited. The agenda was to discuss the critical prerequisites for a viable and sustainable rehabilitation of Kashmiri Hindus in the valley.

The round Table was attended by Dr. Agnishekar, Convenor Panun Kashmir and Dr. Ajay Chungroo,  Chairman Panun Kashmir, Sh.Rakesh Razdan, Vice President, Kashmiri Samiti Delhi, Sh.Amit Raina, Coordinator, APMCC, Sh.Kundan Kashmiri, President, Kashmiri Pandit Conference, Sh.Veerji Wangoo, President, Youth for Panun Kashmir, Sh. Sunil Shakdar, Chairman S K Foundation, Sh.Pavitra Handoo, Former President Kashmir Overseas Association, Sh.Ashish Zutshi, Roots in Kashmir, Sh. R.K Mattoo, Former Editor, The New Indian Express,  Dr. S S Toshkhani, well known Poet, Linguist, writer & scholar, Sh.P.L.Razdan and Ashok Zalpuri, known community activists  amongst others.

A unanimous resolution was passed by the participants representing the community, clearly identifying the 4 non-negotiables for the return of the Kashmiri Pandits:

1.    Acceptance of the problem as religious cleansing and genocide - It was resolved that the issue of return and rehabilitation of Kashmiri Hindus to Kashmir valley cannot be addressed without recognizing the fact that they were subjected to religious cleansing  and genocide which eventually lead to their displacement. Addressing the issue of return and rehabilitation of Kashmiri Hindus in any other concocted context only compounds the problem and is tantamount to denial of genocide.

2.    Forming a Tribunal of Justice - It was resolved that the government of India should recognize the problem of uprootment of Kashmiri Hindus as genocide and invoke the covenants of prevention of genocide. It was further resolved the government of India should create a tribunal on the pattern of Nuremberg trials to bring the perpetrators of genocide of Kashmiri Hindus to justice.

3.    Centrally Administrative Place, One Territory - It was resolved that Kashmiri Hindus be rehabilitated at one centrally administered territory in Kashmir valley with free flow of Indian Constitution. A sustainable and permanent return of Kashmiri Hindus will be possible only in such a dispensation.

4.    Accession of Kashmir is non-negotiable - It was resolved that accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India is final and irrevocable.