On Sunday, former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Farooq Abdullah revisited the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits. He has demanded a full-fledged probe into the matter dating back to the 1990s which is the most sensitive debate in the country.
Abdullah made numerous comments on the situation of Kashmir on Sunday in a webinar with ENN.
Farooq Abdullah on the Kashmiri Pandit issue
In the webinar to discuss Kashmir and its political positioning, 'Discerning old order delineating new order – a year after neutralization of Article 370 and abrogation of Article 35 A'. The chairman of the National Conference Farooq Abdullah was also present during the discussion and went on to make remarks on Kashmir.
He also spoke about the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the state. The events are still a grave memory for many which took place in the 1990s as turbulence was rife in the region. Nearly 60,000 were counted as having left the territory.
"It was not Kashmiri Muslims who threw them (Kashmiri Pandits) out," —Farooq Abdullah.
During the discussion, Farooq Abdullah was asked about the genocide bill being floated by Panun Kashmir, the Kashmiri Pandit organization. Before supporting the bill he said he would have to go into the details of the bill first.
Abdullah, said, "A sincere and honest judge of Supreme Court, a retired judge of Supreme Court, a team of judges...let them investigate and come out with their report. It will clear many minds around the globe, among the younger Kashmiri Pandits, that it was not Kashmiri Muslims who threw them out. There are still many Kashmiri Pandits who never left and they are living here."
The National Conference leader narrated many occasions where Muslims had stood by the Pandit community since 1947, "do you think we were happy when they (Kashmiri Pandits) were taken away," he said, adding "we always believe that Kashmir is never going to be complete unless the Hindu brethren come back and live in peace with all of us."
Abdullah asserted that he would continue to uphold his party's ideology of treating all the people, irrespective of their religious belief, equally.
"My father never believed in the two-nation theory. He never believed that Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, and all other religions are different. We believe all are the children of Adam and Eve. Everybody's needs are the same and so he worked hard for unity. We will continue to stand on the same path and to my last breath, I will work for the unity of all," he said.
In December 2019, the Panun Kashmir adopted the Panun Kashmir Prevention of Genocide and Atrocities Bill, highlighting its various demands including permanent rehabilitation based on principles of non-refoulment. This bill recommends Board and a commission be set up to look into the cultural genocide and its criminal facets which include investigation, the procedure of trial, fixing of responsibility for the crime of genocide, punishment to the perpetrators and compensation to the victims.