Date: 23/06/2013


(A Democratic Think Tank on Minority Issues)

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J&K PoK Refugee Front to launch agitation

Roseburg, OR (USA) June 22, 2013

The ethnic refugees from Pakistan, about a million in number, who have been quietly and peacefully attempting to negotiate with the Indian and J&K authorities a comprehensive settlement package for the past six and a half decades have declared their intention of launching a strong agitation against the deliberate indifference by the policy makers towards their legitimate demands. These refugees mostly non-Muslims from Mirpur, Bhimber Deva, Watala Chamb, Kotli, Poonch, Bagh and Muzafrabad were uprooted from Pakistan as a result of anti-Hindu Jihad during the course of three Indo-Pak wars in 1947, 1965 and 1971.

The decision to intensify the struggle in support of their justifiable demands was made public in Jammu by Mr. Rachhpal Singh, the President of the J&K PoK Refugee Front while leading a protest rally and dharna in front of the Govt. offices. The protesters were raising slogans against the National Conference-Congress Coalition Govt. for its failure to provide a comprehensive settlement package to the terrorized, robbed and expelled ethnic minorities as a result of Indo-Pak wars.

The Front leaders charged that the State Govt. run by the valley based Sunni political parties has deliberately been putting at the back burner their case of compensation of the home and hearth, movable and immovable properties, loss of life, social-educational-employment avenues and due share of representation in the State Assembly and the national Parliament”. It may be recalled that a given number of State Assembly seats have been reserved for the people living in the Pakistan occupied Kashmir. However, no portion of those seats despite demands by the PoK refugees has been allocated to them simply because they are not Muslims and belong to Hinduism the religion under siege. Shamefully, violating the Constitution of India the NC-Congress regimes in the State and Center in view of the vote-bank politics went along with this policy of subverting the citizenship rights. Utilizing a different electoral trickery called “gerrymandering” even Kashmiri Pandits, Sikhs and Buddhists were also denied their legitimate volume of representation in elected houses. The Front leaders accused the State Chief Minister for his calculated indifference and lack of action as he too was interested in their suffering and suffocation in silence and denial of citizenship rights. Why should he support the Hindu victims of Pakistani tyranny they asked?

Till India implements the resolution of the Parliament on liberating the Pak occupied Kashmir, the refugees from the PoK, without any regard to their religious complexion, should be given the legitimate volume of their representation in the State Assembly so their issues could be raised and discussed in the elected body. Their leaders complained that the successive governments of the state have duped them and they were never given the rights and benefits of living in a democracy where citizens are heard, consulted and cared for equally.

The Diversity-USA, a national democratic think tank on minority issues in America which over the years has taken keen interest in Kashmir issue, recognizing the legitimate, legally sound, peaceful and democratic nature of the demands raised by the PoK refugees, has extended its full support and asked the Indian and J&K regimes to restore their citizenship, political, social, religious and constitutional rights. A heavy price has been extracted from them by illegally robbing them of their rights for the past 66 years, the Diversity-USA said. It is a shame that the largest democracy in the world built around Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of Ram Raj wherein all people are treated equally should be denying the ordinary people of their constitutionally guaranteed rights. After examining the relevant evidence we strongly believe that these refugees are entitled to and should be given all those rights plus compensation that were afforded to refugees created by the communal riots during the partition of India 1947 and Dr. Manmohan Singh, the current Prime Minister of India, being one of them. This issue is as simple as this “Pakistan expelled these refugees because they were not Muslims and India and its only Muslim majority state denies them rights and assistance because they are not Muslims”. How unfortunate, communal, out right stupid and mind boggling it is claimed Diversity-USA!

The legal advisers of the Diversity-USA have confirmed that the Sunni regime of Kashmir and its supporters have for all intents and purposes seriously violated the letter and spirit of the Sec. 370 of the Indian Constitution. This constitutional provision was included in the Constitution so the state’s demographic complexion and ethnic balance was maintained without any external intrusions. The responsibility of maintaining the ethno-religious balance as it existed at the dawn of the Indian independence fell on the shoulders of the State establishment. However in the wake of the Sunni spearheaded Jihad, genocide and ethnic cleansing against Hindus in 1989-90 and by driving out of the State nearly a million Kashmiri Pandits, Dogras, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains and others that constitutional contract and principle conditionality was completely trampled upon. Therefore, Sec. 370 of the Indian Constitution cannot and must not remain the guiding force in Indo-Kashmir relations. The Sunni’s of Kashmir have broken the main legal and philosophical principle granting J&K a special status. Accordingly, for all legal and constitutional purposes India is at liberty to disregard the above stated Sec. 370, and apply Indian judicial doctrine and jurisprudence in restoring the citizenship rights of the PoK refugees and pay them adequate compensation for the injuries and losses caused by the authorities due to denial of justice for six and a half decades, the Diversity-USA concluded. Under the new conditions even the Indian Parliament could initiate legislative measures for righting the wrong done to the PoK refugees.