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Who Awaits The Native’s Return?

Who Awaits The Native’s Return?

The J&K assembly’s resolution on the Pandits’ return may flounder pending resolution of the larger conflict

O Jerusalem! Photograph by Javed Ahamad

For long, 50-year-old Sanjay ­Tickoo has been fighting for the rights of Kashmiri Pandits based in the Valley and the return of those who migrated elsewhere in the country. Welcoming the resolution introduced by Opposition leader and former chief minister Omar ­Abdullah last week on the matter and passed by the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly, Tic­koo, who hails from the volatile Old City in Srinagar—a “separatist hub”—and leads the Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti (KPSS), comprising Pandits living in the Valley, says the devil is in the details.

“The resolution is a significant development and an acknowledgment of our suffering. But is there any mechanism to implement it?” asks Tickoo, pointing out that improper ­execution could well trigger another wave of migration. “Is the Valley safe for the return of Pandits, especially in the current situation, that follows months of unrest? And didn’t the National Conference side with the separatists when they opposed separate townships for Pandits in the Valley in 2012?”

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