Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah on Saturday said the time has come for the Kashmiri Pandits living in various parts of the country to return to the Valley with dignity and honour.
“I had maintained that they (Kashmiri Pandits) have to come back home. Nobody is going to call them and ask them to return … time has come when they must return home with honour and dignity and the people here are waiting for them,” Abdullah said here. “We discussed it during my tenure as Chief Minister in 1996 and at that time, we tried every method to bring the community back,” he said.
Abdullah, meanwhile, welcomed the Centre’s move to declassify the files related to Subash Chandra Bose. “It is a very good step. Now, the doubt, which the people have, will go away. Many fingers were raised on several leaders, who have passed away, accusing them of being responsible for his death. The files will bring forth what is right and what is wrong,” he said. On the issue of the prolonged impasse over the government formation in the state, Abdullah said that the coalition partners PDP and BJP are the ones to take a final call on it.
“As far as the government formation is concerned, I have already made it very clear that it is for the PDP and BJP to decide. They have got the mandate from the people. I think they should soon sit down and work it out quickly so that this impasse passes away,” he said. On his meeting with the PDP president Mehbooba Mufti yesterday in Srinagar, he said that he went to offer his condolences to the bereaved family. “I met her. Her father was very kind to me when I came back from England after my treatment. He met me and had a wonderful time for half an hour. So, I also felt as a human being it was my duty to pay the courtesy call.
“I convey my condolences on behalf of my family to her and other family members”, he said.
He said he did not discuss any political issue during his meeting with Mehbooba Mufti. “I only paid condolences and had no political discussion as it was not opportune to go for condolence and discuss politics, may be some other time I will go and meet her again and discuss politics,” he said.