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    EditorialBJP must stand by West Pak Refugees!

    BJP must stand by West Pak Refugees!


    BJP must stand by West Pak Refugees!

    Much hue and cry is being made by all based political parties across board opposing issuance merely of some Identity Certificate which even may not of much relief to them after decades of sufferings. The Kashmiri Muslim leaders from all political shades have been arousing passion among the commoner by misleading them terming the small token as if some citizenship document is being issued. A long standing issue of granting ‘State residency rights' to Hindus and Sikhs coming from West Pakistan and settled in is hanging in J&K since 1947.

    Interestingly, those refugees who were made to settle in other states did not have to face this parochial treatment. These West Pakistan Refugees (WORs) though are given Indian Citizenship and they can vote in Parliamentary Elections, but they are not recognised as State Subjects and denied voting rights in Assembly elections. The problems have intensified, as denial of state rights mean lack of all basic rights viz admission to schools and colleges, job in local administration, land rights, basic facilities etc. The issues of WPRs have been continuously discussed in the Parliamentary Committee, especially Department-related Committee on Home Affair and many recommendations with a view to settle the issues have been made. 183rd report of the Committee was presented in 2014 December containing a host of recommendations. Recently, The Committee's 193rd Report, presented to the Rajya Sabha on 22nd December 2015 has considered the Action Taken Report of the Government and reiterated that all the recommendations must be implemented so that WPRs become state subjects in J&K and live a dignified life.

    The Bharatiya Janata Party has been championing the cause of the WPRs has miserably failed in securing any tangible and positive assurance for them in Agenda of Alliance outlined by the PDP-BJP government. It simply promised ‘measures for sustenance and livelihood of West Pakistan Refugees” in 2015. BJP made it an election plank eyeing some 2.5 lakh voters in the Parliamentary elections of 2014. Now, it is time for the BJP to deliver on its promises when it has its own government at Centre and is in alliance in the state.

    The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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