Published On:29 October 2010
Posted by Indian Muslim Observer

Home Ministry approves amnesty scheme for youth interested to shun violence

By Bashir Assad

Srinagar: Blessing in disguise it may be, for the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir to sell the issue of facilitating the return of those disgruntled youth who went to Pakistan administered Kashmir during the turmoil and want to shun violence and join mainstream.

The Home Ministry is understood to have cleared Jammu and Kashmir government’s new surrender policy for youths who had crossed over to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir for arms training. The policy envisages safe passage and a rehabilitation package for them.

Home Minister P Chidambaram gave a nod to Chief Minister Omar Abdullah to go ahead with the policy, albeit with a set of conditionalities, during their meeting in New Delhi on October 26, Home Ministry sources said.

The issue was hanging fire ever since the Chief Minister raised the issue at the Chief Ministers’ conference in New Delhi here in February 2010. The policy will facilitate return of youths who want to return home to lead a normal life.

It merits a mention here that the Working Group on Confidence Building across the segments of society constituted by the Prime Minister in 2006 has also recommended facilitation of those Kashmiri youth who had gone to the other side of LoC for arms training but want to return back to lead a peaceful life and shun violence. The Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh while inaugurating the first Round Table Conference in Srinagar had also hinted at the government’s resolve to raise the issue with the government of Pakistan.

Sources said that the government of India was seriously considering the proposal of Chief Minister but was put on backburner due to the recent cycle of violence in Kashmir that has consumed as many as 110 lives so far. Now as the situation was improving and the newly appointed Interlocutors on Jammu and Kashmir have started their job of finding a political solution to the problem, the Home Ministry has finally given nod to the policy.

Omar Abdullah, who was the first high profile mainstream leader from Jammu and Kashmir to visit Pakistan in March 2006, on his return had urged upon the government of India to facilitate the return of youths who have gone to the other side of LoC during the turmoil.

State Secretary CPI(M) M Y Tarigami had then brought a resolution in the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly in the same year urging upon the government of India to facilitate the return of youths who want to shun the violence. The resolution could not be adopted as the then PDP-Congress coalition opposed the resolution. Interestingly, the same PDP brought the same resolution in the assembly in 2009 and this time it was NC-Congress coalition that opposed the resolution. The issue of the exfiltrated youth has remained in the centrestage of Kashmir politics since 2006 when the mainstream leaders from Kashmir visited Pakistan first after many decades and on return advocated return of such youth.

[Bashir Assad is a senior Journalist based in Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir. He has now joined IndianMuslimObserver.com as Bureau Chief of J&K. He can be contacted at bashirassad@rediffmail.com]

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Posted by Indian Muslim Observer on October 29, 2010. Filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Feel free to leave a response

By Indian Muslim Observer on October 29, 2010. Filed under , , . Follow any responses to the RSS 2.0. Leave a response

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