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EditorialPolitically motivated Resettlement Act

Politically motivated Resettlement Act


With all eyes on the hearing of Resettlement Act in the Supreme Court, any decision would draw flak. The Supreme Court has asked J&K Government's counsels to enumerate the number of applications made for permanent return under the Act. While the matter is sub-judice, a wrong picture is being painted to gain momentum against the repealing of the act.

The act allows the ones from Kashmir who opted to go to Pakistan in 1947 to return to the state as permanent residents with all rights, thus resettling them in the state. This includes those who migrated to Pakistan from Jammu Kashmir and those residing in Pakistan Occupied Jammu Kashmir.  About a million people who opted for Pakistan can claim to become the state's subjects at any time. Twenty-five seats in the present 76-member Assembly are left vacant for them. The bill specifically applies to the persons and decedents of families originally from J&K who are now settled in Pakistan.

It's ironic how the special status of Jammu Kashmir has been under a design made available to the ones who are now being proxy ruled by the belligerent Pakistan. The fact that there is no such privilege given to the ones who were displaced to in 1947 by Pakistan, speaks of a calculated attempt at patronising and polarising by the then Conference Government which would bear political fruit over time.

Similar provision was made available under Article 5 and 7 of the Indian Constitution on humane considerations which states that those who migrated to Pakistan can return under a law of the legislature but it was in a regulated manner and given a time-frame. However, the J&K Resettlement Act was suddenly brought out after 35 years of the event; clearly politically motivated and designed on communal lines.

 Although the provision is in place, such law has larger implications on the security of the state. Pakistani deep State's involvement and acts of terror by the terrorist organisations in Jammu Kashmir have raised red flags on implementation of such act. Amid other things, this would drastically change the demography of the state specially a particular region with the ongoing “majority enjoying minority status” subterfuge in the state. This would further affect the Jammu's long standing demand of fair delimitation which, if done, could challenge the monopoly of Kashmir-centric parties over their perpetual majority in Jammu Kashmir assembly. The status quo has fully underwritten the Kashmir-centric monopolist politics that has hit badly the true democratic setup in the state.

The controversial Resettlement Act is nothing but a ‘Hornet Nest' and must go. However, it's just a matter of time.

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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