Defending its move to grant domicile certificates to West Pakistan refugees, the Centre on Friday swatted off charges that the move had a ‘Hindutva’ agenda behind it, asserting that the nation owes it to them to ensure for they get dignified means of livelihood.
Speaking to ANI here, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Jitendra Singh said that the state govt in consultation with the Home Ministry devised a mechanism where each of the refugees could be provided a proof of identity, so that he or she could be enabled to apply for government jobs.
“This is a group of refugees who have been languishing without employment, livelihoods for the past 70 years since independence. Whereas their counterparts who chose to settle down in other parts of the country rose to occupy the highest government offices, including that of the Prime Minister of India Sri Gujral and after that Manmohan Singh ji, both of them were from West Pakistan,” he said.
Asserting that the nation owes it to the refugees to ensure they have a dignified means of livelihood, Singh clarified the charges by separatists and certain faction in the opposition, saying that this move had no connection with religion whatsoever.
“I think those who are opposing this, would do well to first address themselves to the issues of some of the foreign nationals who have over the last few years, chosen to settle down. This has got nothing to do with Hindu or Muslim. The entire nation owes it to give a dignified life and to given some sort of identity proof so that they can at least get jobs,” the MoS PMO said.
However, several political parties have reacted sharply to the Government’s move saying “it is an attack on State’s special position.”
State Congress president Ghulam Ahmad Mir said the Chief Minister should have called an All -Party meeting first to discuss the issue.
Meanwhile, separatists have also strongly objected to the development saying it was an attempt to change the demography of the state.