Exodus Of Kashmiri Hindus Blot On Kashmir, Kashmiriyat: Top Army Officer

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By: Aakash Ahmad
Updated: 03 March, 2022 10:17 pm IST

SRINAGAR: Lieutenant General Devendra Pratap Pandey, General-Officer-Commanding (GOC) of Srinagar-based Chinar Corps, on Thursday said that the exodus of Kashmiri Hindus from the Valley was a blot on Kashmir and Kashmiriyat.

Addressing a seminar on “Kashmir At Historic Roads” here, Lt Gen Pandey said, “What will encourage them to return, how and when will they return, and how can a homogenous Kashmiri Muslim society welcome them back and re-learn to become a heterogeneous secular society are some of the questions for which the society has to find answers itself.”

“I have often heard my Kashmiri friends saying that the exodus of Kashmiri Hindus is a blot on Kashmir and Kashmiriyat. Many have told me that the exodus of Hindus has given no advantage to Kashmiri Muslims. They also say that, for Kashmir to be progressive, the return of Hindus is an essential pre-condition,” he said.

Stressing that elderly Kashmiris were aware of the advantage that Kashmiri Pandits brought in terms of multi-culture and education, he asked, “Why do they deny the same to the current generation?”

The senior Army officer also spoke on various issues including terrorism, and misuse of social media. He also released a book written by former journalist Sheik Khalid Jehangir.

Pandey said that Kashmir has been the “centre of play of geo-political and geo-cultural forces since it was inhabited 5,000 years ago”.

He accused Pakistan of using latest communication technologies to push its propaganda linking its so-called “masla-e-Kashmir” (Kashmir issue) with the Islam.

“This has had a serious negative impact on the psyche of the majority Hanafi Muslims in Kashmir. The impact has been more deep and wide after 1990, when Kashmir largely became a home to Muslim society and doors to an ever present multicultural and progressive environment closed. This was the strategic design of nexus always since 1947, but achieved only in 1990,” he opined.

Calling Pakistan the “terror hub” of the world, the officer further stated that Pakistan was being compelled for course correction on the issue of terrorism. “Hence, it is conflicted within, he said, adding that the pressure on Pakistan to work against terror networks has given an opportunity to Kashmir Valley to bring peace and prosperity.

“It is a chance to breathe peace and happiness as people all over the world do. In my personal assessment, these important go political shifts provide an opportunity for the Kashmiri society to break out from the shadows of terrorism brought upon by Pakistan controlled nexus.”

Cautioning the people of Jammu and Kashmir against the terrorist recruitment and narco-terror, he said, “This devious nexus has now started to target children for terrorist activities who are as young as 14 to 16 years of age. Observe your children. Be aware of the content they watch on social media, type of friends they have, even what the teachers are informing these young impressionable teenagers,” he said.

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