Rajnath Singh asks officials to work on safe return of Kashmiri Pandits

    Home Minister Rajnath Singh has asked officials of the Jammu & Kashmir division of the home ministry to
    strengthen measures to curb infiltration from across the Indo-Pakistan border and come up with steps to engage
    the Kashmiri pandits and plan their return to the Valley.

    NEW DELHI (TIP): Close on the heels of President Pranab Mukherjee outlining the return of Kashmiri Pandits to the Valley as a priority of the NDA government, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh instructed his ministry officials to take Kashmiri migrants into confidence and work on a roadmap for their safe return to the Valley. Soon after taking a detailed briefing from officials of the Jammu & Kashmir division of the Home Ministry, Singh set two specific goals for them: strengthen measures to curb infiltration from across the Indo-Pakistan border and come up with steps to engage the Kashmiri pandits and plan their return to the Valley.

    “Had a meeting with J&K affairs department in MHA…asked them to further strengthen the measures taken to curb infiltration from across the border,” Singh tweeted on Thursday, June 12 evening. “Also instructed the officials to take Kashmiri migrants into confidence and work on steps to be taken for their safe return to the Valley,” he said in another tweet. A senior official of the Union Home Ministry said the J&K division would soon firm up a plan to set the stage for return of Kashmiri pandits, while ensuring that this could be done without any threat to their security.

    The official told media that the representatives of Kashmiri pandits would be consulted while drawing up the proposal. Enhanced financial assistance, security to life and property, government jobs and other employment opportunities and subsidized ration could be a part of the package that may be announced as incentive for the return of Pandits, said the official.

    Among the issues covered during Rajnath’s meeting with officials of the Home Ministry’s J&K division on Thursday were the security situation, infiltration from across the border, strengthening of fence along the border and rehabilitation of surrendered militants. Return and rehabilitation of Kashmiri migrants who have been displaced from the Valley, developmental projects and special employment initiatives for the youth of J&K, such as ‘Udaan’, were also discussed.

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