On Killings Of Kashmiri Pandits, Farooq Abdullah; Says Attack On Our Brothers

Srinagar: Farooq Abdullah, the president of the National Conference (NC), stated on Saturday that any attack on Kashmiri Pandits is a direct attack on the “very spirit of Kashmir,” and that the increase in deaths contradicts the government’s assertions of calm in the Valley.

According to a party official, the MP from Srinagar was meeting with a delegation of Kashmiri Pandits led by the party’s minority wing vice president Amit Koul.

“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 spokeswoman, the visiting group discussed a variety of issues with Mr Abdullah, including those affecting Kashmiri Pandits 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 raise the issues with the lieutenant governor of the union territory and the Centre, and emphasized that Kashmir’s socio-cultural milieu included not only Kashmiri Pandits but also Sikhs and other minorities.

The meeting comes after terrorists killed a Kashmiri Pandit government official and a police officer.

On Thursday, gunmen invaded the Tehsil office in Chadoora and shot Rahul Bhat, a clerk. Constable Reyaz Ahmad Thokar was shot at a day later in the district of Gudoora. Later, he died from his injuries. 

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