Srinagar, National Conference President Dr. Farooq Abdullah on Tuesday said the idea of issuing ‘domicile certificates’ to West Pakistan Refugees was unacceptable and that National Conference won’t be a mute spectator to such extra-constitutional misadventures that aim at circumventing the state’s special constitutional status and character.
Speaking to reporters after an event in Jammu, Dr. Farooq Abdullah said there was a clear effort to exploit the West Pakistan Refugee issue to further a traditional agenda of weakening the state’s special status and eroding the State Subject Law. “These belated sympathizers of the West Pakistan Refugees have never done anything to help them in the pursuit of their day-to-day challenges and are exploiting this issue now only to serve their own political interests. While we have always empathized with the refugees and will continue to do so, there is no denying the fact that they are not and cannot become the State Subjects of the State of Jammu and Kashmir. Any efforts by the state government to the contrary will be unconstitutional and illegal”, Dr. Farooq Abdullah said.
“The government’s excuse that certain certificates and documents are being issued to West Pakistan Refugees as proofs of identification are absurd justifications. West Pakistan Refugees have already been given Adhaar cards and before that other proofs of identity that enable them to apply for Central Government and other jobs. Why the present Government suddenly found the need to issue another form of an identity proof is incomprehensible”, Dr Abdullah added.
Dr Abdullah also expressed serious concern over repeated statements by senior BJP functionaries on this sensitive issue calling this move a “first step” towards granting full citizenship rights to West Pakistan Refugees. “These statements by senior BJP functionaries have exposed the intentions of the State Government. Contrary to explanations being provided by the PDP on this move, BJP leaders continue to maintain that this move is a first step in the direction of granting West Pakistan Refugees full state Subject rights. This then becomes a very serious problem and is a challenge for the State that will have to be confronted with responsibility and sincerity. National Conference will do everything necessary to ensure such machinations to erode the State’s special status are defeated”, Dr Abdullah said.