Friday, January 7, 2011


New Delhi, Jan 8: (Only Kashmir): Terming the displacement of Pandits from the Valley as "one of the darkest chapters" in the history of Jammu and Kashmir, Union Minister Farooq Abdullah today asked the displaced people for "forgiveness."
"One of the major tragedies that we had to go through was the ethnic cleansing that took place in the state of Jammu and Kashmir," he told reporters here at a sidelines of a function.
"I think it was one of the darkest chapters in the history of the state that will always remain and for which even for years if we ask God for forgiveness I wonder if it will ever come," he said.
The minister was alluding to the displacement of Pandits from the Valley at the peak of militancy in the early 1990s.
"People had to leave their land and other holdings suddenly overnight, not knowing what the future holds for them. The hurt due to this tragedy still exists in young Pandits," he said.
Abdullah also rued the loss of cultural identity that these people have to face due to their displacement.
"People in Kashmir don't know what Pandits look like..What the now empty temples meant for them.. They have become aliens..I wonder if I'll be able to see it (the repatriation) in this birth," he said.
"Everyone wants to die, be buried and cremated in his own land. I lived in England for 12 years but I never became English though I married an English woman. For me those narrow lanes in Kashmir meant far more that the beautiful roads in England," he said.


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