Kashmiri Christians in exile urged to be invited in peace process and rehabilitation.
22 Jul 2005
Banglore. July 22, 2005. Press reports indicate that at a meeting convened by the National Minority Commission July 21 at New Delhi, Mr. Jai Prakash Jaiswal has assured Kashmiri Pandit and Sikh delegation representing all those from their communities, hounded out of the valley of Kashmir in 1989-90 by the Islamic Terrorists overtly and covertly sponsored by Pakistan that the two communities would be involved in any kind of parleys that would be held with Pakistan or other organizations with regard to the future of Jammu and Kashmir.
It is very unfortunate that the Honorable Minister has no information that Kashmiri speaking Christian families living in exile since 1989-90 have also been undergoing untold hardships and sufferings since then like their counterparts of other religious communities. The resultant effect of this apathy has been that their Children neither get the reservation benefits in the professional colleges, nor has this group been allotted government accommodation, registration benefits nor cash relief. However, let bygones be bygones. It is time for you to act now if you have even the slightest sympathy with this hapless miniscule group of unfortunates.
Mr. Sajan K. George, National Convenor BCIC said in statement "I request you kindly to make it known to the political authorities that Kashmiri Pandits and Sikhs alone do not stand hounded out of the valley but there are Christian families of Kashmiri origin too, who also count. They should also be heard and included in any such parleys that would be held with regard to the future setup of Kashmir. Kashmiri Speaking Catholic families in exile are also a part and parcel of Kashmiriyat"
The Government is going to construct 1000 two room tenements for the exiles from Kashmir. The Christians in exiles should also be the beneficiaries. Besides this The Minister, as reported, shall ask the State Government to set up a State Minority Commission. Kashmiri speaking Christians should also be on that should that move materialize. The National commission for Minorities (NCM) has no jurisdiction over the Jammu and Kashmir State in terms of Article 370 of the Constitution of India and the Delhi Agreement of 1952.
Most important is that you project that it is not the Kashmiri Pandit and Sikh Communities alone that are living in exile but Kashmiri Speaking Christian families are also there. It appears all our effort to include the Kashmiri speaking Christians in the rehabilitation package has proved water on duck's back for the National Commission for Minorities and the Central Government.
I hope that taking time by the forelock you shall oblige us.