Kashmiri Pandits' exodus was "ethnic cleansing": Advani

Kashmiri Pandits' exodus was "ethnic cleansing": Advani
New Delhi, Jan 20 (PTI) Describing the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the valley as "ethnic cleansing", BJP President and former Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani today regretted that his party's government could not do anything "substantial" for the community.

Addressing a gathering of Kashmiri Pandits here on 15th anniversary of the 'Holocaust Day' commemorated by the community, he said the safe return of the displaced people to the valley would be a long-drawn process as there was "no thinking" in this regard.

"I couldn't do anything substantial for Kashmiri Pandits when we were in power. I am here to accept that," he said.

He termed the problems faced by the Pandits as "unique" and said "it is a clear case of ethnic cleansing".

"It will take time to ensure return of the migrants as there is no thinking in this regard. Besides, some people do not want them to return," the BJP leader said.

He said until Pandits return to Kashmir safely and with dignity, the situation in the valley could not be considered normal. "It should be the most important touchstone to judge return of normalcy," he said.

Voicing concern over the lack of awareness regarding the plight of the displaced community, he said "there is a groundswell of support for the cause of the Tibetans and everybody across the world is aware of it. But we could not create awareness on that level about the displacement of Pandits and that is the biggest drawback." He said the community was an important ingredient in the autonomy talks initiated by his government.

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