‘Cat And Pigeon’ Analogy Distorted: Mehbooba On Kashmiri Pandits

SRINAGAR: Kashmiri Pandits will have to be housed in “inclusive” transit camps in the Valley till they get the confidence to return to their native places without security, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said on Tuesday while accusing the opposition and media of distorting her “cat and pigeon” analogy.

“My remarks were distorted by the opposition and media to project as if every Kashmiri is a militant. Kashmiri Muslims are fed up of violence. Kashmiri Pandits are not afraid of Kashmiri Muslims. They are afraid of those who perpetrated Wandhama Massacre,” she said in the Legislative Council while replying to a debate on Motion of Thanks to the Governor’s Address.

Ms Mufti, while speaking in the Assembly on Saturday about rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits, had reportedly said she will not throw Kashmiri Pandits like “pigeons before the cat”.

On Tuesday, she said unless migrant Pandits get the confidence to go to their native places without security, they have to be provided proper residences in transit camps which would be inclusive.

“The workers of Congress, PDP, NC and BJP are living with security. Should we not then provide a sense of security to Pandits. We have to make them comfortable. Unless they get confidence to go to their native places without security, they have to be provided proper residences in transit camps which will be inclusive with 50 per cent reservation for migrants of other faiths. And to link these issues with Article 370 is completely misplaced,” she said.

Hitting out at the opposition for accusing the government of implementing RSS agenda in Kashmir, Ms Mufti said such remarks reflect the lack of faith among the opposition members in their ideology which is deeply secular and plural.

“Even Pandits swear by the name of (sufi saints) Dastgeer saheb and Rash-Maili saheb. No power on earth can dilute our secular ethos,” she said.

On the issue of construction of Sainik Colonies, the Chief Minister said the first such colony in the state was built around 1964 in Samba and was meant for the state subjects only.

“Sheikh Abdullah inaugurated that colony. In March 2011, a meeting of Rajya Sainik Board took place followed by more meetings in 2012. In 2014, the meeting was attended by (then chief minister) Omar Abdullah. Every meeting discussed that land should be provided but no final decision was taken. In my tenure also on April 21, a meeting was convened, again call for land, the Divisional Commissioner communicated to the board on May 18 that no suitable land has been identified. How can you say that there is confusion on the issue” she said.