Several organisations representing Kashmiri Pandits on Tuesday welcomed the President's address and the Centre's commitment in it to ensure their return to their ancestors' land and called for a dialogue with the community before the formulation of any plan in that regard.
Panun Kashmir, which is advocating the carving out of a homeland with Union Territory status for Kashmiri Pandits in the Kashmir Valley, said it will "wait and watch".
On the other hand, All Party Migrant Coordination Committee (APMCC) chairman Vinod Pandit said, "We welcome the Centre's move on return of the community to the land of their ancestors in Kashmir with full dignity, security and assured livelihood. "But, there is a need to set up an apex committee of Kashmiri Pandits at the central level to hold discussions with the community over the plan of rehabilitation ahead of its implementation."
The organisations have been fighting for lakhs of people of the community who fled the Kashmir Valley in 1990 upon the eruption of the militancy.
"Special efforts will be made to ensure that Kashmiri Pandits return to the land of their ancestors with full dignity, security and assured livelihood," the President said while outlining the agenda of the Narendra Modi government for the next five years.
There is an urgent need to undertake confidence-building measures before formulation of any plan for their return and rehabilitation, Pandit said.
Jammu and Kashmir Vichar Manch leader RL Bhat called for holding dialogue with the community leadership on such a move while expressing happiness over the statement. "Centre should hold talks. They should spell out the broader contours of the plan. Community should know what is happening," Bhat said.