Resentment grows over west Pak refugee proposals

Srinagar: Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has called on Monday a meeting of the conglomerate’s executive, general council and working committee members to discuss the controversial recommendations calling for granting permanent residency and voting rights in assembly polls in the state to refugees from Pakistan.
A Hurriyat statement said the meeting will discuss the implications of the recommendations on Kashmir dispute and the strategies that need to be adopted to counter the move.
A parliamentary panel has recommended Permanent Resident Certificate and right to vote in Assembly elections for the WPRs and displaced persons (DPs) from Pakistan administered Kashmir besides financial assistance of Rs 30 lakh per family.
The panel also recommended de-freezing of eight seats (of the 24 seats reserved for other Kashmir in J&K assembly) for displaced persons from PaK and reservation for both groups in the Assembly.
On Friday, Hurriyat (G) chairman Geelani had warned of a “strong movement” if the recommendations are implemented, while terming the proposals a “ploy to reduce Muslims of the state into a minority”.
Pro-India parties National Conference and PDP vowed on Friday to oppose “tooth and nail” any plans to grant permanent residency to the West Pakistan Refugees.
On Saturday, NC general secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar, echoing the resistance leaders, said the panel’s recommendations as “a conspiracy aimed at changing the demography of the state and its special status”.
“Different parliamentary committees have suggested many things in the past, like the return of the power projects to J&K, restoration of autonomy and revoking the black laws like AFSPA from the state. But all the governments at the Centre binned these recommendations,” Sagar said.
“Now that another parliamentary panel has made recommendations for settling West Pakistan refugees and giving them the citizenship and voting rights, the central government seems to be in a hurry to make this happen as soon as possible. We can smell a rat in these recommendations,” he added.
He said “conspiracies like these” were even hatched in 2008, when there were attempts to transfer land to Shri Amarnath Shrine Board, which was a “dangerous attempt” to fiddle with special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
Joining the chorus of those who have attacked the recommendations,
Jamiat-e-Ahlihadees said “it is a conspiracy to destroy already fragile peace in Jammu Kashmir”.
“The aim of this conspiracy is to change the demography of the state and destroy its majority Muslim status. People of Jammu Kashmir will never remain silent spectators over these conspiracies hatched at the behest of RSS and its allies,” a Jamiat spokesman said.

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