Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP) chief Prof Bhim Singh on Thursday termed refugees from Pakistan as "the legitimate and permanent residents of the state" and accused the central government for their present mess.
Bhim Singh blamed the Parliament of India for the present mess created in respect of the Pakistan refugees who migrated from Sialkot and adjoining territories included in Pakistan to the side of Jammu and Kashmir in 1947.
"Nearly one lakh Pakistan refugees stayed in Jammu and Kashmir on the intervention of the then administrator Sheikh Mohd Abdullah who was appointed by the monarch," Singh told reporters here today.
He said that each refugee family was allotted land and Sheikh Mohd Abdullah appealed to them to stay along the International Border as there was no security, defence measures at the time along the newly created border.
"Nearly 65000 people are believed to be residing in the state mostly in the areas spreading from Kathua to Poonch sector," he said, adding that Government of India failed to provide them shelter.
"They were not even compensated as was done in case of with the refugees in other parts of the country," he said.
Singh accused the Kashmir-based political parties formaking provocative remarks on the issue of granting statehood rights to the refugees.
"The Kashmir-based parties including PDP and the NC, among others including the Congress have started the exploitation of the innocent people by means of polarisation," he said.