Jammu: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha Monday said that Article 370 and 35A had denied political rights and other benefits to West Pakistani Refugee (WPR) families and announced that ownership rights of lands to them would be soon ensured by the J&K administration on the directions of the central government.
He was addressing the gathering after inaugurating the special Governance Camp for West Pakistani Refugee families at Chakroi, R S Pura.
LG Sinha stated there was no denial to the fact that they (WPRs) suffered discrimination and had to “live life like second-class citizens” during the past over 70 years. “However the Prime Minister realised it and with great sensibility took measures to resolve grievances of West Pak refugees. It was in this direction that certificates were issued for facilitating WPR youth to procure jobs in central paramilitary forces," he said.
LG Sinha also announced to simplify rules so that all those who did not get compensation so far, could get it. He said that ownership rights for land too would be given to them soon as per the direction of the central government.
“There has never been a dearth of money to J&K on the part of the central government. In comparison to other parts, where the Centre would give Rs 8000 per person per month, J&K used to get Rs 28,000 per person per month. Where did that money go? That is the pertinent question. But the situation changed after August 5, 2019. The Prime Minister is very particular about the resolution of all grievances of WPRs with sensitivity," he said.
The Lieutenant Governor said the special ‘Governance camp’ aimed to resolve grievances, verification of pending cases, awareness about various welfare and self employment schemes and placement drive with focus on eligible candidates from displaced families.
“Article 370 and Article 35A had denied political rights and other benefits to West Pakistani Refugee families and prevented their scope of progression and upward mobility. Prime Minister Narendra Modi provided them the rights enjoyed by other citizens of the country and they are no longer treated as refugees,” he said.
LG Sinha shared the J&K administration’s resolve to extend the benefits of government schemes to their families.
“The government is working with dedication and commitment to realise the dreams of the community. It is a fresh dawn, which offers the people limitless possibilities and a new hope to the youth. We will ensure they become architects of J&K's strong and prosperous tomorrow,” added the Lieutenant Governor.
He also reiterated the government commitment to work for the larger interest of the displaced families. “Governance camp will act as an institutional structure to effectively resolve all the pending cases within a time frame and mitigate the problems of farmers. Our thrust will be on measures for economic and social development, social justice and equality,” observed the Lieutenant Governor.
He further assured every possible support and assistance from the government to the youth of West Pakistani refugee families in their entrepreneurial and business ventures. He also said all the opportunities for skill development and sports would be provided to the youth.
“Youth must come forward and avail the benefits of all schemes and programmes of Mission Youth,” he added.
LG Sinha distributed sanction letters to the beneficiaries of different government schemes. He also interacted with the representative of West Pakistan Refugees and assured appropriate redressal of their issues and demands.
The camps for employment generation and grievance redressal will be organized at different districts till May 10, 2023. Earlier, the J&K administration organized special Governance Camps for Kashmiri migrants and Displaced Persons of PoJK to ensure saturation of social security schemes, self-employment and skilling.
Bharat Bhushan, chairperson DDC Jammu; Ramesh Kumar, Divisional Commissioner Jammu; Labha Ram Gandhi, president WPR Association; DDC member T S Tony, members of West Pakistani Refugee families, senior officers of UT administration were present on the occasion.