The settlement of refugees of Jammu is nowhere in the agenda of government whether in Centre or in Jammu and Kashmir, a grievance some times justifies demand of separate state. It is unfortunate that this section has been left outside the purview of both the Round Table Conferences. Pakistan occupied Kashmir refugees (PoK), who had crossed over to Indian side during the Partition and the Indo-Pak wars, had been demanding rehabilitation during all these years. The Centre had asked the State Government to give them a proposal for relief and rehabilitation, resulting in the latter approving this proposal. Even the present BJP government in the Centre is sincere in its endevour to provide succour to the refugees by announcing one of the largest package for the displaced community for the last six decades. Prime Minister Modi’s announcement during his last visit had kindled a ray of hope for all the displaced persons. Even Union Minister Jitendra Singh had also said that the redressal of their grievances is “very high” on Modi government’s agenda. Like that there has been no dearth of assurances to this section of the society but no concrete solution has come out till date. It’s over six decades the settlement politics initiated during Sheikh Abdullah’s period today also haunts over 12,00,000 people from Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) about their status within the country. They have no political status. They are refugees in all terms. After partition of India, it would not be exaggerated to say that Jammu became home for refugees, it may be POJK refugees of 1947, 1965 and 1971 Indo-Pak war, West Pakistani refugee and Kashmir migrants. The main hurdle in settlement of all these refugees is discriminatory attitude shown by Kashmir based parties as Refugee Act passed by Government of India does not apply under the umbrella of Article 370.
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© 2017 State Times Daily Newspaper