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Monday, August 1, 2011

KASHMIR: Govt fears threat to life of ex-militants!


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August 1, 2011 / By Namrata Biji Ahuja, Correspondent, New Delhi / DC.

India is concerned about the security of former militants and their families who are living in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and are seeking its help to return to the Valley. The ambitious rehabilitation policy of the government has drawn 700 applications from militants who hail from J&K but have been living in PoK for past many years. While the response is encouraging, the Indian security establishment is concerned that such militants whose names have been cleared may already be under surveillance by elements in Pakistan which do not want their smooth return to the Valley. Besides giving them a “safe’’ passage, proper identification and background checks of all such militants who claim to have given up militancy and are promising to lead a peaceful life is proving to be a tedious task for Indian agencies who are treading cautiously on allowing their return to the Valley.
Government sources said that the activities of the Indian high commission in Islamabad could also possibly be under the scanner for its role in facilitating the process. The home ministry is expected to convene a meeting with representatives of the ministry of external affairs and J&K government shortly to chalk out a way forward.
A government official said efforts are on to muster support from the Pakistani government but conceded that the “diplomatic’’ process may take time. “If any of these militants are killed, their families would immediately blame the government. We need to proceed cautiously and ensure their safe return,” an official said. Sources in the security agencies are also not ruling out efforts by the ISI-backed terror outfits like the LeT to try to create trouble along the way.

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