West Pak refugees reiterate demand of citizenship rights

Excelsior Correspondent

SAMBA, Aug 5: The West Pakistan Refugees held a meeting at Sawnkha More near here today and demanded that their all pending demands be settled once for all and they should be given the citizenship rights like other people of the State for which they have been struggling for last 70 years.
The meeting was chaired by the president of West Pak Refugees, Laba Ram Gandhi who while turning tables on those political parties opposing their settlement in the State said these parties have no Hindrance in the settlement of other foreigners in the country but are opposed to the patriotic, nationalist and peace loving people like West Pak refugees.
He said the special status of the State has been a great impediment in settlement and grant of citizenship rights to lakhs of refugees in the State and demanded that there should be one law in entire country and the discriminatory laws should go.
Gandhi said that the refugees will heave a sigh of relief when there is the free flow of Indian Constitution in the State and no Central law has to pass through any conduit to reach J&K.
He also made a dig at those parties especially the National Conference (NC) which is opposed to treating the J&K at par with other states of the country.
He termed it a grave injustice with the West Pak refugees who have been deprived of citizenship rights since 1947 of no fault of theirs. The Tibetan refugees who settled in Kashmir have been given the citizenship rights while those who came from West Pakistan and took refuge in this part of the State were deprived of the same, he added.
Gandhi said that a meeting of refugees was also convened by Divisional Commissioner, Jammu in which the DC, Jammu, DC Samba and DC Kathua participated to finalize the issue of compensation of West Pak refugees. He expressed the hope that the compensation process will start within week.