December 2016 News

WPRAC Accuses Kashmir-based Political Parties Of Stirring Unrest

23 December 2016
State Times

Jammu: Notwithstanding hate campaign unleashed by the National Conference and separatists over the issue of identity certificates for children of West Pakistan Refugees for submitting as identity proof along with their application forms for recruitment in central paramilitary and Indian armed forces, President of the West Pakistan Refugees Action Committee (WPRAC) Labha Ram Gandhi on Friday said they will continue to fight for their citizenship rights, come what may. 'We are not afraid of false propaganda unleashed by the Kashmir-based political parties, including National Conference and even separatists against our genuine demands. We will continue to struggle hard for our citizenship rights and we will not relax till we achieve our goal', Gandhi told reporters in his office near Swankha Morh, Samba. Labelling the propaganda of the Valley-based political parties as an attempt to trigger unrest in Kashmir; Gandhi said all those people who are raising their voices against the decision of the Union and the State Governments to provide identity certificates to the children of West Pakistan Refugees are enemies of peace and humanity. He said, 'It is very unfortunate that these separatist leaders are bent upon preventing the poor families and their children from earning their livelihood'. Referring to the letter issued by the Union Home Ministry, Gandhi said, 'The issue of identity certificate was pending with the Union Government since 2002 and now when the Union Home Ministry, in consultation with the State Government has evolved a mechanism to issue Identity certificate to the children, these people are spreading falsehood by claiming the State Government was issuing them domicile certificates. According to Labha Ram Gandhi, the directives to issue identity certificates were given to Revenue authorities in August 2016 and since then large number of youth have acquired these certificates. He expressed surprise over baseless media reports which claimed that the government has started issuing domicile certificates to the west Pakistani Refugees. Gandhi claimed, 'Our fight is for Permanent Resident Certificate and the present identity certificate is being issued only to fulfil the criteria for submitting the application forms for entry in the central paramilitary and armed forces'. Gandhi said despite living in the State since 1947, the West Pakistani refugees have not been granted the J&K citizenship. 'It is a humanitarian issue and the State Government should issue us citizenship as we are the citizens of India and living in State for over six decades'. At least 19,960 families of West Pakistan Refugees are currently registered with the J&K Government.