by Ram Puniyani, 22 June 2010, Countercurrents.org
The local Muslims and the ministers said that all concerned should work for return of Pandits to the valley, as Kashmiiryat is incomplete without the pandits, who are integral part of the Kashmir’s culture and life. Many a pandits also promised to work towards such a goal, to over come the divides created by the militant and political forces. The return of pandits to the valley has already begun, though it is a trickle at the moment.
Kashmir issue has been seen by the two neighbors, Pakistan and India, more as an issue of ‘real estate’ only. Kashmir has been treated as the territory which has to be won over by any means. The Government of Pakistan has regularly used ‘Kashmir’ issue to retain their hold on the political power in Kashmir, while in India, for far too long the central Government ignored the aspirations of the local population. In this whole scenario the real essence of Kashmir, Kashmiriyat got undermined and the issue started being presented as a communal one and as the site of dispute between two neighboring countries.