SRINAGAR: The state government on Wednesday said the West Pakistan refugees are not the permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir but are the citizens of India. The state government has no plan to grant them the status of permanent residents.
In response to a question, the government said that 47,448 refugee families, classified under five categories, are living in the state. The highest of them are displaced from Pakistan administered Kashmir (31,619), followed by West Pakistan refugees (5,764), Chhamb refugees of 1971 camp (4,600), Chhamb refugees of 1965 (3500) and Chamb refugees of 1971 (non-camp) (1965).
However, the government said that only Pakistan administered Kashmir refugees have been given permanent citizenship.
“Government has no plan to give permanent citizenship to the refugees belonging to West Pakistan though they are the citizens of the country,” said relief minister, Syed Basharat Bukhari, in reply to the written question of independent legislator Abdul Rasheed.
The minister said no West Pakistan refugee is considered for appointment against any state government post because they are not permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir.
The minister said that displaced persons of Pakistan administered Jammu and Kashmir of 1947, 1965 and 1971 (camp and non-camp) are eligible for appointment to any state government posts or any democratic institution like panchayat, council, Rajya Sabha and Parliament.
“The information regarding the particulars of refugees appointed is being collected,” the minister added.