Mirwaiz: Demographic change of J&K will not be ‘Allowed’ PDF Print E-mail
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altJehlum Post News Network|Srinagar | Jan 12, 2015 |Moderate Hurriyat Conference Monday opposed the recommendations of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Home Affairs for the permanent settlement of west Pakistan refugees in Jammu and Kashmir, saying that it was an attempt to tamper with the demographics of the state. "The Hurriyat is extremely concerned by what seems to be a vigorous effort to meddle with the demographics of Jammu and Kashmir to change the facts on the ground with the eventual aim of subverting the people's right of

self-determination," it said in a statement after a meeting. It described the Centre's move as "forcible integration and assimilation of the internationally disputed state". The meeting, which was chaired by amalgam chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, discussed the recommendations made by the Joint Parliamentary Committee to grant Jammu and Kashmir "Permanent Resident (State Subject) Status" to refugees from erstwhile west Pakistan.

"The Hurriyat unequivocally and vehemently opposes the recommendation recently made by the Parliamentary Standing Committee. Similarly, the Hurriyat has taken cognizance of and vehemently opposes similar proposals that have been spelled out in the BJP's Vision Document for Jammu and Kashmir released in November 2014," the amalgam said. The points which the Hurriyat objected to included grant of citizenship rights, right to vote in Assembly and local- bodies elections to the refugees, abolishing the custodian department and allotting the evacuee property to the occupants of the said properties. "While it is the purview of Parliament and Government of India to grant the west Pakistan Refugees Indian citizenship and any economic concessions or benefits it deems fit, it has no legal standing or right to grant these refugees 'Permanent Resident (State Subject) Status' in Jammu and Kashmir or any rights related to this status, such as the right to own land or immovable property in the state," it added. The Hurriyat said the refugees, who came to Jammu and Kashmir from erstwhile west Pakistan, are not permanent residents of the state. "The west Pakistan refugees have no right to Permanent Resident Status in the same way that the thousands of Tibetan Muslim refugees, who have been living in Kashmir since 1960, have no right to Permanent Resident Status in the state," it said. "This is a Jammu and Kashmir issue. Hurriyat cautions those parties that are trying to divide and polarize the people of the state to desist from pursuing such dangerous agendas," it said.

The Hurriyat cautioned the Centre and the BJP leadership against proceeding with any step to violate, dilute or undermine the legal rights of the permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir. "The Hurriyat unequivocally and vehemently opposes the recommendation recently made by the Parliamentary Standing Committee. Similarly, the Hurriyat has taken cognizance of and vehemently opposes similar proposals that have been spelled out in the BJP's Vision Document for Jammu and Kashmir released in November 2014," the amalgam said.

The points which the Hurriyat objected to included grant of citizenship rights, right to vote in Assembly and local- bodies elections to the refugees, abolishing the custodian department and allotting the evacuee property to the occupants of the said properties. "While it is the purview of Parliament and Government of India to grant the west Pakistan Refugees Indian citizenship and any economic concessions or benefits it deems fit, it has no legal standing or right to grant these refugees 'Permanent Resident (State Subject) Status' in Jammu and Kashmir or any rights related to this status, such as the right to own land or immovable property in the state," it added. The Union Home Ministry last week initiated a slew of measures for the benefit of these refugees, including a directive to central armed paramilitary forces for recruiting them. Home Minister Rajnath Singh requested Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar also to take similar step so that West Pakistan Refugees (WPR) are recruited in the armed forces. "The Home Minister has approved certain concessions for the WPRs settled in Jammu and Kashmir after considering the problems being faced by them.

"He has directed the heads of CAPF that such WPRs from Jammu and Kashmir, who are Indian citizens and have valid voter IDs, be considered for recruitment in the forces, including the special recruitment drives conducted in the state," an official statement had said. The CAPFs are CRPF, BSF, CISF, ITBP, SSB, NSG and Assam Rifles. As of now, WPRs face difficulty to fulfil documentary evidence of residency in support of their applications as the CAPFs recruitment rules seek furnishing of Domicile Certificate (DC) from the candidates while the state government issues only voter ID with Non-Permanent Residency (NPR) status to such Indian nationals. Agency

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