No specific proposal of providing identity certificate to West Pakistan refugees: Govt

While maintaining West Pakistan refugees settled in Jammu and Kashmir are Indian citizens, Ahir also said the state government has reported that "there is no such proposal at present under consideration of the state government for the West Pakistan refugees".

By: PTI | New Delhi | Published:February 8, 2017 9:06 pm
Afghan refugee children, returning from Pakistan, watch a short video clip about mines during a mines and explosives awareness program at a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) registration centre in Kabul, Afghanistan September 27, 2016. Picture taken September 27, 2016. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail Afghan There are nearly 20,000 families which had settled from West Pakistan after Partition.

The government today said no “specific proposal” of providing “nativity and identity certificate” to West Pakistan refugees was under consideration of Jammu and Kashmir government.

In written replies to questions by Amar Singh of Samajwadi Party and Majeed Memon of NCP in Rajya Sabha, junior Ministers of Home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir and Kiren Rijiju said that Jammu and Kashmir has reported that there is “no such proposal at present to grant domicile certificate”.

While maintaining West Pakistan refugees settled in Jammu and Kashmir are Indian citizens, Ahir also said the state government has reported that “there is no such proposal at present under consideration of the state government for the West Pakistan refugees”.

He was replying to a question whether the Centre is aware that the state government had recently decided to issue “nativity and identity certificates to about 1.5 lakh refugees for erstwhile Pakistan”.

Ahir said unlike Displaced Persons (DPs) of Chhamb of 1947, West Pakistan refugees have not been granted state subject status. “As such, they do not participate in the state Assembly elections and are not entitled to any employment under the state government.”

However, in Jammu, Laba Rama Gandhi, who heads an organisation of West Pakistan refugees, said that they had been issued identity cards for purpose of employment in paramilitary forces and defence forces.

“We have become unfortunate victims of politics. BJP also promises one thing and does a different thing. We are campaigning for state subject and after a month, we will march to Delhi,” he said.

There are nearly 20,000 families which had settled from West Pakistan after Partition.

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