Free Press Journal

J&K:Geelani takes on Govt over settlement of West Pak refugees



Srinagar: Hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani today termed a Joint Parliamentary Committee’s recommendations on the settlement of Western Pakistan refugees in Jammu and Kashmir and giving them voting rights as an “attack” on the special status of the state and a “conspiracy” to change its demographic position.

“The recommendations of the Indian Parliamentary Committee are an attack on the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and a conspiracy to change the demographic position of the state. And it also puts a big question mark over the intention and the status of the committee,” he said in a statement.

The Hurriyat hawk warned of strong resistance to the move if the state government accepts the recommendations.

“If the government tries to accept these recommendations, then it will be resisted tooth and nail and a strong movement will be launched against it,” he said.

Geelani said the Centre has “actively started” to work on the “hidden agenda of the RSS” to change the demography of J&K.

He said the refugees from West Pakistan were in no way the residents of Jammu and Kashmir and would not be allowed at any cost to become permanent residents of the state.

“As far as the people of Azad Kashmir (Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir) are concerned who have crossed the ceasefire line to this side, they are legally permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir and no one is against their permanent settlement here.

“But the refugees who have come from West Pakistan are in no way the residents of J&K but they are legally the permanent residents of India and they will be never and at any cost be allowed to become the permanent residents of JK,” he said.

Geelani claimed there are about five lakh West Pakistan refugees and issuing state subjects in their favour and giving voting rights to them would be equal to “uprooting” of the Constitution of the State and it would create “serious crisis” in Jammu and Kashmir.

He said the parliamentary committee has made “irresponsible” recommendations over “a most sensitive issue” and claimed that these recommendations are “against the will and aspirations” of the people of Kashmir.

“J&K is not any Uttar Pradesh or Gujarat like other states of India but it is an internationally accepted disputed territory of the world and there is no constitutional or moral justification of its military occupation.

“The ruling party of India should very much understand that the steps out of haste can put the state on the fire and it will further destabilize the unstable political environment of the state,” Geelani added. PTI