Criticising the attempts of the Awami Ittehad Party (AIP) and the Hurriyat Conference for jeopardising the proposal of granting the citizens' rights to the refugees of West Pakistan, the youth wing of the Panthers party warned them to refrain from making the subversive and sectarian remarks.
Gagan Pratap Singh, spokesman Young Panthers, strongly rebutted the remarks of AIP president Engineer Rashid, who had earlier said that rehabilitating the West Pakistan refugees would destroy the majority character of the Muslim majority state.
Gagan lamented that it was an irony that the people who voluntarily fled to Pakistan from the state in 1947 had been granted citizens' rights there, but the refugees of West Pakistan who had taken the shelter in Jammu and Kashmir have been left in lurch for the last 67 years.
He said that the refugees have been granted to exercise their rights of franchise in the parliamentary elections but debarred to do so in the state assembly election. Since they are the citizens of India and J&K being an integral part of the country, the refugees should be granted the citizens' rights in the state also, he said.
He also castigated Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani for his inflammatory remarks. Geelani had said that any move to settle the refugees would complicate the uncertainty prevailing over the government formation in the state.
"This shows the anti-Jammu mentality of the separatists", Singh said.