Kashmir Groups Oppose Move to settle West Pak refugees in the state
Protest against proposal to settle west Pakistan refugees in Jammu and Kashmir
NEW DELHI: The joint Parliamentary committee's recommendation to settle west Pakistan refugees in Jammu and Kashmir has brought the Hurriyat as well as the mainstream politicians on the same page, with both opposing any such move, which could result in changing the demography of the state.
Hurriyat hardliner leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani termed these recommendations by Indian Parliamentary Committee in favor of Western Pakistan refugees in J&K as “an attack on the special status of Jammu & Kashmir and a conspiracy to change the demographic position of the state”.
In a statement issued from New Delhi, Chairman Hurriyat (G) Syed Ali Geelani cautioned that if the government tries to accept these recommendations, then it will be resisted tooth and nail with a strong movement being launched against it.
"There are about 5 lakh West Pakistan refugees and issuing state subjects in their favour and giving voting rights to them will be equal to the ‘uprooting’ the constitution of the state and it will create serious crisis in the Jammu & Kashmir" he added.
Similar viewpoints emerged from different political parties.
National Conference, while terming the recommendations as "wicked conspiracy" said that the anti Jammu Kashmir elements are up in arms to change the demography of the state and NC will offer any sacrifice protect Article 370.
“The joint parliamentary committee’s recommendations for the permanent settlement of West Pakistan refugees in the state is wicked conspiracy to change the demography of the state and to alter the special status enjoyed by Jammu and Kashmir,” NC General Secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar said at a party meeting in Srinagar.
"Now that another JPC has made recommendations for settling West Pakistan refugees and giving them citizenship and voting rights, Central government seems to be in a hurry to make this happen as soon as possible; we can smell a rat in these recommendations”, he stated.
He further added that these type of conspiracies were also hatched in 2008 when attempts were made to transfer the land to shrine board but the world saw how that move was opposed in Kashmir.
Meanwhile, Hurriyat Conference (M) said that they will counter all such moves which are aimed at changing demography of Jammu and Kashmir.
A statement issued in Srinagar read “The conglomerate has expressed serious concern over New Delhi’s proposals to settle non-state subjects in Jammu and Kashmir and are we are ready to foil any conspiracy which is aimed to change the demography of the state".
Even the Peoples Democratic Front (PDF) took a similar stance.
PDF President and MLA-elect Khansahib Hakim Muhammad Yasin called on all leaders to unite against recommendations and warned that the proposal could have serious implications.
“West Pakistan refugees were never residents of Jammu and Kashmir and there is no legal or constitutional obligation to provide them with Permanent Residence Certificates (PRC). I urge leadership of the state to unite against this proposed move and thwart the nefarious designs of those vested interests who want to divide the state in the name of region and religion”, Hakim was quoted in a statement.
While speaking to The Citizen, Democratic Freedom Party chairman, Shabir Shah said that the recommendation is aimed at changing the Muslims into minority in Jammu and Kashmir and it will be strongly opposed.
" From the day of assuming power, Modi and RSS to trying everything to change the demography of state and we will strongly oppose any such move " Shah added.