National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah on Saturday said every attack on Kashmiri Pandits is an out-and-out attack on the “very soul of Kashmir” and the spike in the killings contradict the government’s claims of normalcy in the Valley.
The MP from Srinagar was interacting with a delegation of Kashmiri Pandits led by the party’s minority wing vice president Amit Koul, according to a party spokesperson.
“Every attack on our Pandit brothers is an out-and-out attack on the very soul of Kashmir. I’m looking for times, when both Kashmiri Muslims and Kashmiri Pandits live side by side. However, the incumbent government is confined to only pomp and show. On ground, no efforts are being taken to create an enabling environment for their safe and permanent return,” Mr Abdullah said.
According to the spokesperson, the visiting delegation discussed with Mr Abdullah an array of issues, particularly about those concerning the Kashmiri Pandits living in the Valley.
“They said those who took up government jobs as the first step towards rehabilitation were now struggling for timely payment of earned wages, promotions and a decent quality of life,” he said, quoting the people that met Mr Abdullah.
“They also stated that despite political rhetoric by the incumbent government, it has done nothing to make them feel safe and secure across Kashmir. They said the bravado created by the ruling dispensation has done nothing to provide them respite from cramped up quarters, and discriminatory service rules,” the spokesman added.
Mr Abdullah promised to take up the issues with the union territory’s lieutenant governor and the Centre, and reiterated that not only Kashmiri Pandits but also Sikhs and other minorities were part of Kashmir’s socio- cultural milieu, he said.
The interaction comes after Kashmiri Pandit government employee and a policemen were shot dead by terrorists.
Gunmen entered the Tehsil office in Chadoora and shot at Rahul Bhat, a clerk, on Thursday. A day later, constable Reyaz Ahmad Thokar was shot at in Gudoora in the district. He succumbed to injuries later.