Soz welcomes rehabilitation policy for Kashmiri militants

Sunday, November 28, 2010

JAMMU - The rehabilitation policy for militants returning from Pakistan and Pakistani Kashmir is “a welcome and humanitarian step”, the Congress’ Jammu and Kashmir unit chief Saifuddin Soz said Sunday.

Talking to media persons at Satrian village in Ranbirsinghpora, close to the India-Pakistan border, about 30 km west of Jammu, Soz praised Chief Minister Omar Abdullah for “getting this policy approved after talking to the union home minister (P.Chidambaram)”.

“I think this is a welcome step,” he said on the sidelines of a function organised by state Medical Education Minister R.S. Chib.

Soz’s praise for Abdullah is seen as a change as he is regarded as a critic of the chief minister and has been criticising him directly and indirectly for quite some time. It is also the first time since the policy was adopted by the state cabinet Nov 22 that any Congress leader has openly spoken in favour of it.

Soz said that the policy has a “humanitarian angle as it creates opportunities for the return of the youth who had gone across (the border with Pakistan). This should be seen through the humanitarian angle and not as a danger to the nation”.

“There are safeguards in the policy. I think those would be adhered to, he said.

The policy entails the return of more than 3,000 Kashmiri militants and their families to the state and their rehabilitation. On their return, they would also be provided with employment opportunities.

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