Over 54,000 families of PoK, West Pakistan residing in J-K | india | Hindustan Times
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Over 54,000 families of PoK, West Pakistan residing in J-K

india Updated: Apr 07, 2015 21:26 IST

Almost 55,000 families of West Pakistani and PoK refugees who migrated to Jammu and Kashmir between 1947 and 1971 are residing in various parts of Jammu province.

This information was tendered by minister for relief and rehabilitation Basharat Bukhari to a question by Independent member Engineer Abdul Rashid in the state Legislative Assembly on Tuesday.

Giving further details, he said that 31,619 families of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) migrated in 1947, 4,061 in 1965 and 9,442 in 1971 besides 9,823 West Pakistani refugees migrated to this side during the period.

The state government intends to provide a number of facilities for the betterment of these refugees and displaced persons except for West Pakistani refugees and has accordingly submitted a comprehensive package to Centre for one-time full and final settlement, he said.

"So far as West Pakistani Refugees are concerned they are not permanent residents of the state in terms of the constitution of state", he said.

Replying to another question whether government proposes to provide permanent citizenship rights to these refugees, Bukhari said, "presently no such proposal is under consideration of the state government".

The package includes payment of Rs 25 lakh to each family as a one-time settlement for which a total amount of Rs 9,096 crore is involved, he said, adding, the amount is proposed as a compensation against the leftover movable and immovable properties.

The government is considering reservation in professional colleges outside Jammu and Kashmir and reservation of jobs in paramilitary forces, Army and other central government offices for the wards of these displaced persons and inclusion of left out displaced persons families for assistance, he said.

The central government has returned the said proposal with some observations, he said.

"The state government is advised not to send the proposal in a piecemeal manner. It should send a comprehensive and consolidated proposal. The Centre would not be able to consider any package unless it includes the West Pakistani refugees as well," he said.

The Minister said that PoK displaced persons are entitled for all legal rights including Permanent Resident Certificate (PRC) as these are permanent residents of the state.