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Kalam sends KPs' documents to Patil

Kalam sends KPs' documents to Patil

Author: B L Kak
Publication: Daily Excelsior
Date: May 16, 2005
URL: http://www.dailyexcelsior.com/web1/05may16/news.htm#5

The President, Dr A P J Abdul Kalam, has, once again, demonstrated his eagerness for justice to the aggrieved or affected sections of society across the country. And latest instance, in this regard, is the passage of a couple of documents concerning the displaced community of Kashmiri Pandits (KPs) to the Ministry of Home Affairs from the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

It is official: Dr Kalam, while attending to a raft of letters and communications and memoranda from various groups and individuals every day, is keen that socio-economic issues his attention is drawn to do not go unnoticed and unattended. No wonder, after going through a couple of documents concerning the aggrieved Kashmiri Pandit migrants, Dr Kalam instructed his staff to pass the documents on to the Minister for Home Affairs, Shivraj Patil.

While one document was authored by two noted film personalities, Anupam Kher and Ashok Pandit, on the eve of their meeting with the President in Rashtrapati Bhavan on Friday (May 13), second document was sent to Dr Kalam by the president of the Kashmiri Samiti Delhi, Sunil Shakdher. Both documents highlighted, among other things, the agonizing hardships an overwhelming majority of the KP migrants "continue to face for no fault of theirs."

It has been officially confirmed that the President had desired the Home Minister to take note of the contents of the documents. However, officials who handled the two documents, declined to elaborate on it, saying: "We are not mandated to discuss President's views in public."

It is not for the first time that the President took cognizance of the documents pertaining to the KPs. Earlier, too Dr APJ Abdul Kalam had ensured that the concerned authorities in Home Ministry and Cabinet Secretariat also took note of the KPs' demands or grievances. In fact, PM Nair, Secretary to the President, has already confirmed this. Two instances can be cited in this regard.

First, in his letter of January 24, 2005 addressed to the president of Kashmiri Samiti Delhi, Sunil Shakdher. PM Nair made it known that the former's communication regarding the Central Register (of Kashmiri Pandits) had been forwarded to the Union Home Secretary and the Cabinet Secretary. Second, four days later, on January 28, Nair again wrote to Shakdher informing him that his letter addressed to the President on the census of Kashmiri migrants had been forwarded to the Home Secretary.

That the KSD leadership was not prepared to appreciate what it termed as the "agonizing suspense" even after the Union Home Ministry's Department of J&K Affairs took up the issue with the Jammu and Kashmir Government, was borne out by the call from the KSD for the intervention of the President and the Prime Minister. A four-page letter, signed by the KSD president, was submitted to the Rashtrapati Bhavan, inviting the President's attention on the deteriorating situation in the Kashmir valley as a result of the renewed terrorist violence, particularly in the vicinity of Srinagar, and the "deliberate" exclusion of KPs from the panchayat polls in Kashmir.

The letter charged the PDP-led coalition Government in J&K with trying to perpetuate KPs' exodus and said: "Subtle moves are afoot to keep Kashmiri Pandits out of Kashmir, their original home for the last more than five thousand years". The KSD chief's communication to the President and the Prime Minister, while referring to the Centre's move to resume the stalled dialogue with the Hurriyat leaders of Kashmir, took strong exception to the Government's indifferent attitude towards their demand" for involving them in talks meant to end the political crisis in Kashmir.

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