Settlement of WPRs humanitarian issue: Muzaffar Baig

Settlement of WPRs humanitarian issue: Muzaffar Baig

The settlement of WPRs has already triggered a controversy in the State with separatists and National Conference claiming the move was aimed at changing the demography of JK.

Senior PDP leader and Member Parliament, MuzaffarHussainBaig, Saturday said the settlement of West Pakistan Refugees (WPRs) is a humanitarian issue and that a middle path must be found to give these people a hope.

Baig’s assertion comes a day after BJP said that the issue of settlement of WPRs must be treated on humanitarian grounds.

In an exclusive chat with Greater Kashmir, Baig said, “There needs to be some middle path. I have a formula that I will share with the party leadership if my advice is sought on the issue.”

The settlement of WPRs has already triggered a controversy in the State with separatists and National Conference claiming the move was aimed at changing the demography of JK.

“There are many Bangladeshi Muslims settled in India. At the same time there are many Muslims living in United States, should they be kicked out?” Baig asked. “Why our hearts cried when scores of Muslims were killed in Burma. After 9/11 that left many people dead, why didn’t US government ask Muslims to leave the country?”

He said if Pakistan agrees to give the WPRs citizenship rights, the problem would be over. “But this seems impossible. Will Pakistan agree to this, I believe no,” Baig said. “So under these circumstances, what is the solution? There has to be some middle path keeping in view the JK’s Constitution and international humanitarian laws and human rights.”

Baig said the issue needs to be first understood. “As Muslims, we need to understand what Quran and the Sunnah says about the issue. “According to our faith, God says all human beings have inherited this earth. There is no mention of citizenship. There is talk of Arab-o-Ajam in Islam, so who is Arab and who is Ajam, in Islam all are equal,” he said. “At the same time, Hindus may have their own views on this. Islam believes in humanity. We need to understand this issue in accordance to human rights,” Baig said.

About the claims made by the separatists that settlement of WPRs would affect JK’s demography, Baig said many non-state residents have settled in the State since 1950. “Even when Syed Ali Geelani was the member of Legislative Assembly, many outsiders settled in the State. During the respective regime of National Conference and also that of Congress, many outsiders settled in JK,” Baig said.

“What I believe is that once we understand the issue, we will have a solution as well.”

Interestingly, the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) while advocating citizenship rights to the WPRs, has however said that it was up to the Government of India and JK Government to implement its recommendations.