Srinagar, May 19: The government Thursday said that separate colonies for Kashmiri Pandits are not possible in Kashmir and the Pandits have to live within the society, but said that it wants a debate over the issue.
“Government is trying for dignified return of Kashmir Pandits. And if the Hurriyat, mainstream parties have any objections within our plan, we can have a debate with them how to facilitate their return. I appeal the separatists and mainstream parties that if you find any objections, kindly tell us how to go,” government spokesman and Minister for education told reporters here at Banquet Hall.
“We are open to debate on this. There is a consensus on the return of the Kashmiri Pandits. But how will we bring them back. Let’s us have a debate on it and let the civil society lead the debate. We will follow if the civil society leads the campaign,” Akhtar said.
The government’s response came a day after separatists threatened 2008-like agitation over the setting up of Sainik Colonies and townships for Kashmir Pandits.
“What we will get from the agitations like 2008 and 2010? We have to think beyond that. Our economy, tourism have started picking up, education activity has started. We should not derail that,” he said.
To questions on constructing Sainik Colonies, the government spokesman said that proposal and demand of Sainik colony by state subjects ex-servicemen have been going on for long time.
“But no land has been identified yet as the Sainik Board has been told that there is no land available for the colony,” Akhtar said.
Akhtar said that the special status of the state is “inviolable” as the PDP-BJP coalition has mentioned it in the agenda of alliance. (KNS)