The Indian government has for the first time offered amnesty to hundreds of Kashmiris who had crossed over to the Pakistani part of Kashmir and are now willing to surrender and return home.
Thousands of Kashmiris have slipped into Pakistan-administered Kashmir for arms training since an anti-India insurgency broke out twenty years ago.
Hundreds have returned and joined Muslim rebel groups, many died on a rugged military control line while sneaking into the Indian side and many more are still living in different parts of Pakistan or Pakistani Kashmir.
Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram has said anyone willing to give up militancy and return is welcome home.
The amnesty for those who want to return home could be a major confidence-building measure in a bid to soothe anger in Kashmir, where recent civilian deaths, blamed on security forces, have fuelled anti-India sentiment.