Introduction - The Invisible Refugees
Most of the Pandit refugees, mislabeled as "migrants", live in squalid camps with spiralling health and
economic problems. That the Muslim-led state government of Jammu and Kashmir has ignored their plight comes as no surprise since the oppression of Kashmiri Pandits did not start in 1989, but much earlier. Between 1947 and 1989, hundreds of thousands of Kashmiri Pandits had left the valley to escape oppression by the Muslim majority. It is clear that the return of the nearly half a million Kashmiri Pandits to their native land will not be facilitated simply by the end of Pakistani-inspired terrorism in the state. While a cessation of the targeting of Pandits by Islamic terrorists in the state is the essential first step, an end to the oppression by majority Muslims would be the next essential step to enable the Pandits to return as equal citizens.
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