The BJP today promised granting of citizenship rights to the West Pakistan refugees within six months, diffusing the strong objections raised by the separatists and other radical groups of the valley opposing the idea. Party President Amit Shah assured the West Pak refugees who had called on him in New Delhi to apprise him of their unending woes.
The West Pak refugees had been camping in the region since 1947. They had been struggling to get their citizenship rights and the BJP had assured their rehabilitation during the poll campaigning, highlighting this as a core demand in their agenda. However, the matter was being subsided now as Kashmir centric groups had vociferously opposed this demand. In the “Agenda for the Alliance”, the coalition had promised to take measures for sustenance and livelihood of the West Pak refugees and the issue was a bone of contention between the two partners.
Amit Shah told that the BJP leadership was aware of the miseries of refugees and was keen to address their grievances. Shah has reiterated the commitment of his party towards granting the citizenship rights to WPRs and sought just six months to the troubles solved. Not too long ago, Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh had also said that the BJP would convince the state government to implement recommendations of the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to address grievances of the refugees, including WPRs. The core demands of the Joint Parliamentary Committee(JPC) are to rehabilitate the West Pak Refugees living in the state since 1947, to entitle them with the Permanent Resident certificate. The JPC had also recommended one-time compensation to them and voting rights in elections to Assembly, civic bodies and panchayats.