"Special efforts will be made to ensure that Kashmiri Pandits return to the land of their ancestors with full dignity, security and assured livelihood," the President said while addressing the joint session of both Houses of Parliament. (JPN/Agencies)
The announcement led to thunderous applause with many members thumping their desk.
According to official data, 24,202 families migrated after militancy raised its ugly head in the Valley in 1990. A total number of 38,119 families are registered with the Jammu and Kashmir Revenue and Relief Ministry till now.
The Kashmiri Pandit organization, however, put the number of total displaced people anywhere between six to seven lakh now.
Kashmiri Pandit organizations welcomed the move of the Government and said it was for the first time that the plight of the displaced community had been flagged by the Central Government as its priority.
General Secretary of All India Kashmiri Samaj (AIKS) Romesh Raina while welcoming the step said finally the serious issue of displacement of Kashmiri Pandits has got its rightful place in the mainstream politics of the country.
"Our request to the Government would be that while framing the blue print for the return and rehabilitation of the community, they should take the aspirations and needs of the displaced into the consideration and must ensure the political rehabilitation of the people through Constitutional mechanism lest it’s not refouled again," he said.
In its election manifesto, the BJP had promised repealing Article 370 after consultation with all stakeholders. The President also emphasized on improving the intra-region connectivity and border infrastructure in the northeast as well as in Jammu and Kashmir.
"Special efforts will be made to ensure that Kashmiri Pandits return to the land of their ancestors with full dignity, security and assured livelihood," the President said while addressing the joint session of both Houses of Parliament.