Jammu: Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Monday said Jammu and Kashmir had received over 1,000 applications from militants in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) but no one had yet returned through the designated routes.
The chief minister also informed the state assembly here that at least "3,974 militants are still living in the PoK and other parts of Pakistan".
The state had in 2009 announced a policy for return and rehabilitation of Kashmiri youths who had crossed over to Pakistan or PoK through the Line of Control (LoC) for arms training to become militants and now were "willing to shun violence".
The kin of such stranded militants in Pakistan could apply on their behalf to the state government which processes the case making verifications at different levels.
Omar Abdullah, while replying to question, said, "No militant has returned through identified routes but up to Feb 15, 2013, 241 ex-militants have returned illegally via Nepal and other routes along with their family members, but they are not eligible for any rehabilitation."
The chief minister, who also holds the home portfolio, told the house that the state government had received "1,089 applications on behalf of the ex-militants out of which 191 cases have been recommended for return. Not a single militant has returned to Jammu and Kashmir through routes identified by the government".
"The rest of the applications are being scrutinized and verified," he said.
At least 241 ex-militants returned to the state via Nepal and other routes but Omar has clarified that "they are not entitled to benefits under return and rehabilitation policy as they have not returned through identified routes and followed the norms set therein".
At least 150 ex-militants returned illegally to Jammu and Kashmir from Pakistan in 2012.
Giving details about these ex-militants who have returned illegally, the chief minister said: "During 2010, 29 ex-militants returned from PoK and Pakistan of whom five brought their families with them."
"In 2011, 54 ex-militants returned, of whom 16 have brought their families with them. Similarly, in 2012, 150 ex-militants have returned ... of whom, 90 brought their families and till Feb 15, eight militants have returned and two have brought their families with them."
"The state government will continue with its efforts for implementation of the policy to facilitate the return of youths desirous to return to the state under the policy," he said.
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