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Oct 23, 2007

Roots in Kashmir representatives meet EU Delegation


Seek help in getting IDP status for the Pandit community

The European Union Delegation which had last month visited Jammu and Kashmir for an on ground assessment of the Kashmir issue today met up with representatives of the Kashmiri Pandits. The European Union delegation had invited representatives of Roots in Kashmir for a dialogue in order to understand the perspective of the Kashmiri Pandits with regard to the Kashmir issue. Roots in Kashmir co-ordinators’ Pawan Durani and Rashneek Kher had an hour long meeting with the EU representatives,The Ambassador of Portugal, Mr.Mendes,Charge’D’Affaires A.I of the Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia, Mr Miklavz Borstnik and Dr.Alexander SPACHIS,Minister-Counseller,Political Affairs and Co-ordination,European Union.
The Roots in Kashmir delegates appraised the EU delegation about the ground reality and the plight of Pandits.The EU delegation was also made aware of the reasons for forced exodus and lack of social and political dispensation to the Pandits said Pawan Durani. The EU delegation was briefed on the rather apathetic role of State and Central Governments in rehabilitation of the Pandits. The RIK representatives submitted a 7 page memorandum to the EU delegation the theme of which was to recognize the rights of Kashmiri Pandits and declare them as Internally Displaced People(IDP’s).
Roots in Kashmir appealed to the European Union to recognize Kashmiri Pandits as Internally Displaced People as per the charter of the UNHRC. We also requested the EU delegation to impress upon the Indian Government to declare Kashmiri Pandits as Internally Displaced People since we are not migrants as Govt of India calls us said Rashneek Kher.
The EU delegation enquired about the present status of Pandits and their position in the present geo-political environment. They were also surprised to note that though the Peace initiatives were on the anvil yet not even one Kashmiri Pandit was allowed to visit Pakistan held Kashmir.
The EU delegation very patiently heard and understood the Pandit perspective in the Kashmir issue. A plea by the Pandit delegation that no solution of Kashmir issue be carried out without the involvement of Pandits was also well received by the EU delegation.

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