Rehabilitation policy needs to be reviewed

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State seems to be indecisive about what to do with militants who want to return back. There are reports that militants from Kashmir Valley along with their families, after getting clearance to return under the rehabilitation policy, were not being permitted to cross Nepal border by Seema Sashatra Bal (SSB) deployed on Indo-Nepal border. Relatives of the families have appealed Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti for her intervention in this regard.
This is in pursuance of rehabilitation policy announced by previous NC-Congress coalition government during the year 2010. According to this policy, amnesty is given to those militants who crossed over to Pakistan for arms training in early 1990 and now have had change of heart and want to surrender and resume their normal life in the state. The policy was first passed by Jammu and Kashmir assembly and then endorsed by UPA government led by former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh. Though security agencies as well as opposition parties particularly BJP had then raised lot of hue and cry over this policy but the central government justified it that similar type of amnesty had been given to insurgent groups in North East and outlaws in other parts of the country for the sake of greater interest of durable peace in the country. But this rehabilitation policy has failed to bring desired results. Several misguided youths first of all crossed the border for arms training and had been living there for more than two decades. In between they married there and had children. They went alone but now are returning with families, a very odd situation because they left valley at young age, remained in prime years of their life in a country always hostile to India and now, want to return back in their twilight years. One has no reason not to question their loyalty towards Indian state. Besides, this is additional burden on all security and intelligence agencies. It is not out of place to mention here that Valley centric parties get their things done as per their desire from New Delhi with their adamant attitude even at the greater risk of security to the country. But when issue of rehabilitation of POJK, Kashmiri Pandits and West Pakistani refugees come, then either they create bottlenecks. More than 6 to 7 year have passed since the day rehabilitation policy was implemented but we are yet to see fruitful results. Besides, this 6-7 year period is enough to assess how much this policy has helped to restore peace in the valley. More important is the fact that while some are returning, a good number are going to Pakistan and Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) for fresh
arms training.
Not only this, anti-national forces are active in the valley in radicalizing and recruiting youths in terrorist outfits. It reflects that though valley based parties can exert pressure on central government for rehabilitation of militants but they are unable to stop youths going in the lap of our enemy.
The time has come to review this policy. Intelligence agencies must take note of this and ensure that if nothing concrete has come out in restoring peace in the valley, then better is to dispense
with it.

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