Former J&K CM Farooq Abdullah demands probe into exodus of Kashmiri Pandits in early 1990s


Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and National Conference chairman Farooq Abdullah on Sunday demanded a probe by retired Supreme Court judges into the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the valley in the early 1990s.

In a telephonic conversation with India Today TV, Farooq Abdullah said the Modi government had promised return of Kashmiri Pandits within six months after forming government in 2014, then, why has it not been done even after six years of being in power.

During a webinar, Abdullah said he was of the firm belief that Kashmir is incomplete without Kashmiri Pandits and that he would support any mechanism to bring them back honourably.

Nearly 60,000 Kashmiri Pandit families are registered as migrants after the onset of militancy in the Kashmir Valley in the early 1990s.

Abdullah, a member of Lok Sabha, chose to blame then former Governor Jagmohan for the exodus and said that he “took them away” on the false promise of ensuring their return within three months.

During the webinar hosted by Jammu-based Epilogue News Network on the theme, “Discerning old order delineating new order a year after neutralization of Article 370 and abrogation of Article 35 A”, Abdullah was asked whether he would support a genocide bill being floated by the Panun Kashmir, a Kashmiri Pandit organisation demanding a separate homeland for the migrants.

He said he would have to go into the details of the bill first.

“A sincere and honest judge of Supreme Court, retired judge of Supreme Court, a team of judges…let them investigate and come out with their report. It will clear many minds around the globe, among the younger Kashmiri Pandits, that it was not Kashmiri Muslims who threw them out. There are still many Kashmiri Pandits who never left and they are living here,” Farooq Abdullah said.

The National Conference leader narrated many instances where Muslims had stood by the Pandit community since 1947 and said “do you think we were happy when they [Kashmiri Pandits] were taken away,” he said, adding “we always believe that Kashmir is never going to be complete unless the Hindu brethren come back and live in peace with all of us”.

Abdullah said he would continue to uphold his party’s ideology of treating all the people, irrespective of their religious belief, equally.

(With PTI inputs)

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