'Move will further alienate Kashmiris'

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Srinagar
  • Updated: Jan 12, 2015 21:05 IST

Former interlocutor Dileep Padgaonkar on Monday questioned the Union government's move to grant citizenship rights to West Pakistan refugees in Jammu and Kashmir.

In an interview to a local news agency, Padgaonkar was quoted as saying that the recommendations of the joint parliamentary committee about settlement of refugees in JK cannot be implemented without having a debate and discussion on the issue.

"Besides, granting citizenship rights to refugees is a state subject matter and New Delhi cannot impose its authority on any government in Jammu and Kashmir," said Padgaonkar, who was appointed as head of the three-member interlocutor in 2010 to address the political problem of the state.

The senior journalist reportedly warned of further alienation in the state if the West Pakistan refugees are settled.

"Raking up such issues only harms India's integrity and all the controversial issues should be shelved in the interest of the country," he said.

"New Delhi should understand that any move to grant special concessions to the refugees of West Pakistan would be unacceptable to the people of Kashmir and if Central government will push for the issue then it would certainly snowball into a major political controversy," Padgaonkar was quoted by the news agency.

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