SRINAGAR: Chairman Hurriyat Conference (G), Syed Ali Geelani, on Saturday appealed Pakistan’s prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, to rehabilitate the people who migrated from Jammu and Kashmir to Pakistan-administered Kashmir (PaK) in the last 25 years.
“Initially, about 15 lakh people, mostly from Jammu, left their homes and moved to Pakistan and Azad Kashmir. And in the last 25 years, an additional about 50,000 people were forced to migrate to the ‘liberated’ side of Jammu and Kashmir. While the condition of 1947, 1965, and 1971 migrants is stable and satisfactory, those who crossed over in the last 25 years are in a miserable state,” Geelani said in a statement issued here.
“Till the foreign occupation of these occupied territories does not end, the return of these migrants is impossible. As Pakistan is important party to the Kashmir dispute, it has a prime responsibility to pay a special attention towards the displaced people and rehabilitate them on a priority basis,” he said.
The appeal from Geelani came days before the country is about to observe its ‘Kashmir Solidarity Day’ on February 5.
“As the ‘Kashmir Solidarity Day’ is being observed in Pakistan, I humbly appeal Pakistan’s prime minister, president, army, and its people to take serious notice of their condition and address their issues,” he said.
The migrants, Geelani said, were “forced by the Indian oppression” to migrate towards the “freed territory”, and now “their ways to return to native places have been blocked by India”.
“The properties of migrants from Jammu have been illegally occupied by the communal forces and this sensitive issue is being ignored. The number of migrant families is seven thousand. Most of them are living in rented accommodations and their financial position is very weak,” he said.
Geelani said Pakistan was not just a geographical territory but “its existence is on ideological basis”.
He said the migrants of Kashmir and Palestine deserve sympathy of the justice-loving people of the world, especially in the Muslim counties.