Srinagar : Pakistani flags were raised in Srinagar on Friday, as Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, and other separatist leaders protested the setting up of Pandit and Sainik colonies in the valley. Srinagar Police resorted to using tear gas to contain the protests. Besides waving the flags of the hostile neighbouring country, protesters raised slogans of 'jeeve jeeve Pakistan'. What was startling was Farooq made no attempt to stop the protesters from indulging in anti-national activities.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has favoured setting up of Sainik Colony in Kashmir after its alliance partner Peoples Democratic Party virtually rejected a proposal in this regard citing non-availability of land for non-state subjects. According to census figures, there are about 62,000 registered Kashmiri migrant families who have migrated to various parts of the country.
Successive governments have from time to time devised policies for the return of Kashmiri Pandits, but those attempts have remained unsuccessful. On Friday, separatist leaders announced plans to hold talks with Kashmiri Pandit migrants to discuss their return to the Valley, marking an attempt to bring back the community which was forced to leave over 26 years back.
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had said the position of the government is that it does not have any land available in Srinagar, Pulwama and Budgam districts for setting up such a colony.