Farooq Abdullah urges meaningful solutions for Kashmiri Pandit migrants

SRINAGAR — National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah has said the issues related to Kashmiri Pandit migrants are not merely a matter of statistics but a humanitarian crisis that demands urgent attention and meaningful solutions.

The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of exploiting the Kashmiri migrants’ sufferings for political gains, without genuinely addressing their grievances or ensuring their rightful return and resettlement in their homeland.

“The Kashmiri migrants issue is not merely a matter of statistics or political rhetoric, but a humanitarian crisis that demands urgent attention and meaningful solutions,” Abdullah said while interacting with a delegation of Kashmiri migrants in Jammu on Friday, 3 May.

The delegation of migrants was headed by former NC MLC and the chairman of the party’s minority cell, Bhushan Lal Bhat, who apprised Abdullah of the hardships being faced by the community, according to a release issued by the party.

Bhat said most of the Kashmiri migrants residing in the Jagti, Purkhoo, Muthi, Buta Nagar and Nagrota camps here as well as those settled in Jammu, Kathua and Udhampur districts are facing problems in the absence of basic amenities for them.

Abdullah criticised the BJP’s “divisive rhetoric and discriminatory policies”, claiming that the ruling party has only “exacerbated tensions and alienated communities” in the region.

He called for a more inclusive and compassionate approach for resolving the Kashmiri migrants’ plight, one that prioritises human dignity, justice and reconciliation.

The member of Parliament from Srinagar urged the Kashmiri migrants to ensure maximum participation in the upcoming phases of the ongoing Lok Sabha polls in the Union Territory, emphasising the importance of their collective voice in shaping the country’s political landscape.

“There is a dire need to change the government at the Centre so that the problems of the public as well as Kashmiri migrants can be effectively addressed,” he said.

Additional general secretary of the NC and former Jammu and Kashmir minister Ajay Sadhotra asked the BJP-led Centre to reveal what steps have been taken by it for the welfare of the migrant community.

“It is really unfortunate that despite the increased cost of living amid skyrocketing prices and peak inflation, the cash assistance being paid to the Kashmiri migrants has not been enhanced for the last so many years,” he said.

Sadhotra said the NC will remain steadfast in its dedication to advocating for justice, dignity and equality for all Kashmiri migrants, and continue to work tirelessly towards the realisation of these principles.

In his address, NC’s provincial president Rattan Lal Gupta asserted that the party has always stood for the cause of Kashmiri migrants and shall continue to do the same for all times to come.

“The BJP government had made promises to rehabilitate the Kashmiri Pandit migrants in the valley but those proved to be a cruel joke as no steps were taken in this direction since 2014,” he said.

Gupta appealed to the migrant community to strengthen the hands of Farooq Abdullah and NC vice-president Omar Abdullah by supporting all three party candidates in the parliamentary polls — Mian Altaf Ahmed from Anantnag-Rajouri, Aga Syed Rahullah from Srinagar and Omar Abdullah from Baramulla.

“There is no better option for Kashmiri Pandit migrants than to wholeheartedly support and vote for the NC candidates in the valley,” he said.

The Srinagar constituency will go to polls on 13 May, Baramulla on 20 May and Anantnag-Rajouri on 25 May. The counting of votes will be taken up on 4 June. — (PTI)