The Government of India has said that it has no plan to set up separate development board to address the issues of West Pakistani Refugees (WPR) and PAK refugees.
“Central Government and the State Government of Jammu & Kashmir have no proposal to set up separate development board for displaced persons from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir,” written reply of Home Minister to a question by BJP state president and MP, Jugal Kishor Sharma, states.
The MP had sought information about the number of WPR, PAK refugees in the state and facilities being provided to them and future schemes for their development.
The reply stated that a separate wing of Rehabilitation Department functioning under the State Government headed by Provincial Rehabilitation Officer Jammu provides rehabilitation assistance to all displaced persons including refugees.
The Minister also informed that since 1947, about 1,00,18,173 displaced persons had migrated from Pakistan (both erstwhile West Pakistan and East Pakistan) to India and had settled in different States of the country.
The reply further states that 47,215 migrants from erstwhile West Pakistan are settled in the State of Jammu and Kashmir after partition.
Regarding details of the facilities being provided to these immigrants, the reply stated that these refugees occupied Government lands and Evacuee Property lands. These lands were allowed to be retained by them up to 8 acres of irrigated land and 12 acres of un-irrigated land by the State Government.
During last year’s parliament and assembly polls, BJP has strongly raised the issue of WPR settlement and sought citizenship and voting rights in assembly polls for them. In ‘Agenda of Alliance’ framed to form state government in coalition with PDP, it promised to provide sustenance and livelihood to WPR and one time settlement to PAK refugees.