Jammu: Jammu and
Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said Tuesday the government was
working on a multifaceted programme for the return of Kashmiri Pandits to the Valley, but for that, the migrants' sense of security
had to be restored.
"Creation of economic opportunities for Kashmiri Pandit youth and
reservation in government jobs for them are being focused on as
meaningful incentives to encourage their return to the Valley in a
conducive and peaceful atmosphere," Abdullah said in Jammu while
interacting with a delegation of students from Chicago University.
"The upliftment of those Kashmiri Pandits who have not left the
Valley during the disturbance is also equally important as they are
bereft of the benefits available to the migrant Kashmiri Pandits
under the Prime Minister's Relief and Restoration Plan," he said.
The students from the University of Chicago are here working on a
research project on Kashmiri Pandits.
The chief minister said that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh recently
inaugurated the satellite-township of two-room tenements at Jagti,
Nagrota for Kashmiri Pandit migrants living in camps in Jammu.
Abdullah said that about 2,500 Kashmiri Pandit youths have been
provided jobs in the Valley and jobs for an equal number were in the
"This is part of the initiative taken to encourage the younger
generation to return to the Valley and get involved in the economic
and other activities," he said, adding that transit accommodation
and other required facilities have also been put in place for them.
He also enumerated other measures for the creation of a conducive
atmosphere for their return. He, however, said the restoration of
sense of security was imperative to help smooth and large scale
return of Kashmiri Pandits to the Valley.
"There is tremendous improvement in the situation since their
migration from the Valley. However, the complete restoration of
peace and total elimination of fear psychosis has to be worked out,"
he said, adding the "government was doing whatever possible with the
assistance of union government to make effective dent in this
"About 300,000 Kashmiri Pandits visited the shrine of Kheer Bhawani
in the Valley last year in a conducive atmosphere. Hopefully, this
trend will further improve -- giving a boost to the confidence of
Kashmiri Pandits," he said.
Kashmiri Pandits, who had migrated from the Valley in 1990s under
fear of persecution by Islamic militants, have been living in Jammu
and other parts outside the Valley since then. Over 350,000 of them
had migrated from the Valley when militancy erupted in the region in