Citizenship To West Pak Refugees Not Part Of Coalition Agenda: Deputy CM

2 May 2015
Kashmir Reader

Jammu: Government Saturday said it will work towards providing sustained livelihood to refugees from west Pakistan but hinted it would not give them citizenship rights saying the issue does not have any mention in the agenda of alliance. 'In our agenda of alliance we have discussed about their livelihood because they have been living here for the past 67 years. It is the duty of the Jammu and Kashmir government so as to make arrangements for their bread and butter. We will find it out how it will be done taking in view the laws of the state,' Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh told reporters here. When asked whether the state government would grant permanent citizenship to the refugees from west Pakistan, a demand that was raised by his party prior to the formation of the coalition government in the state, he said 'we do not have any mention of it in the agenda of alliance, but only their livelihood we will do what is mentioned in the alliance agenda'. He said the problem of the refugees was a long standing problem since 1947, maintaining that the previous governments have not been able to do anything for them. 'A committee would soon be formed to address the grievances of the refugees. We want that a package must be given to them which has been denied since 1947,' he said. He said that people from various places got displaced and came to Jammu. 'In the agenda of alliance, we have mentioned that a package would be given to them. We have talked about their livelihood. In the Assembly, the chief minister had made a statement that a committee would be formed which would be headed by the deputy chief minister and some ministers should also be in the committee,' he said. He said the committee would be opened as soon as office is open in Srinagar. 'We have been listening to their problems and demands. It is a very complex issue. There are several type of refugees like of 1947, some are from PoK, some are from west Pakistan, some are from 1965, 1971, some are camp refugees and some are non-camp refugees. Some are registered while some are not registered so it's a very complex issue,' he said. He said the refugees want a package which would compensate them of the property which they have left behind. 'Some recommendations have been made by the Parliamentary Committee and the Wadhwa Committee. We will see everything and give a report to the government and to the Centre so that a package is given to them,' he said.