Mr. K.B.Jandial, the former top bureaucrat of J&K State, has written an article on the controversial decision of the State to issue domicile certificates to West Pakistan Refugees which was published in daily ‘Rising Kashmir’ of 4th Jannuary 2017 (http://www.risingkashmir.com/article/straight-talknever-ceasing-controversies-in-kashmir). The author is short on facts and wrong in conclusion on many facets of this important matter and hence this point by point rejoinder.
Following partition of 1947 and mass migration of people from India to Pakistan & Vice versa, West Pakistan refugees (WPRs) , entered into our State from Pakistani Punjab areas like Dalowali, Nandpur, Rangpur Jattan, Salehpur etc. etc, .They were allowed to stay in Jammu under a deliberate plan because they markedly resembled people of Jammu living in Samba-Kathua, Suchetgarh belt. Once in our state, they mixed with RSS cadres & took an active & aggressive part in massacre of Jammu Muslims . Gandhi Ji referred to them as accomplice of Killers. Incidentally many of such refugees have already obtained Permanent residency certificates(PRCs) through dubious mean. Even the president of WPR association has confessed that much.
According to author, Sheik Mohd.Abdullah, the then Prime Minster of Kashmir ‘allowed’ them to stay in Jammu. This is close to current chief of RSS, Mohan Bagwat’s statement made in Jammu in November 2016 that Sheik Abdullah ‘permitted’ them to stay in Jammu. Nothing can be further from truth than this diabolic statement. When these refugees entered Jammu, Abdullah had not much say in such matters . These were handled by State administration headed by Mahajan & Batra . The fact is that even after Abdullah assumed the reins of State, he never promised them a permission to perpetual stay or citizenship rights in State. Had it been so, he would have granted them full residential status during his tenure between 1948-53, when he was Prime Minster of J&K vested with unbridled powers. In fact his administration made an attempt to identify them for deportation to other parts of India but Nehru requested his friend Abdullah to postpone the issue to some other day for fear of incurring wrath of communal elements in Delhi. It is another matter that ‘other day’ never arrived. After he re-assumed power in 1975, lot of pressure was exerted on him by New-Delhi to grant them the citizenship rights but he resisted all moves in this regard. In-fact, in an interview published in all national dailies of 31st March 1981, he categorically refused to oblige New-Delhi on this issue which created an uproar in Indian Parliament. Speaking on the subject through a calling attention motion in Parliament, Karan Singh denounced Abdullah for his rigid attitude.
The author mentions the religion of these people as the sole reason for being opposed the privilege by Kashmiri leadership. To buttress his point he cites their insignificant numerical strength to cause any demo-graphical imbalance. Well I won’t comment on what Kashmiri leadership thinks but would like to remind the author that isn’t it the same logic which Govt. of India applies in respect of Bengladeshi refugees in Assam & North-east. In-fact, the present BJP Govt.(Whom people of Jammu have overwhelmingly voted for) is on record to say that Bangladeshi Hindus are welcome to India but not Bangladeshi Muslims. Thank God Kashmiri leadership has not said that Muslim WPRs are welcome & not Hindu WPRs and that is proof enough to know which leadership is communal . It is strange of the author to support that logic in Assam but oppose it in his own State. Strange! Are not such people called fifth columnists?
The author further ridicules the opposition to domicile certificates on the ground that these certificates simply mention few personal details & the fact that they live in Jammu since 1947 and are in no case a substitute for PRCs. The author may be reminded that if more details are provided in Adhar cards of these WPRs, what is the necessity of issuing them fresh certificates ? In any case if these are insignificant certificates, then why is author worried over Kashmiri leadership’s opposition to it? But the fact is that by issuing such certificates, Govt. acknowledges their stay in State and by permitting them a further stay in Jammu, this document, by default, becomes an ‘Ijazatnama’ for them. A final nail in the coffin would be a judgment from supreme court to grant them citizenship rights ‘ where even ‘satisfaction of collective conscience of Indians’ will not be needed.
Last but not least the author cites the humanitarian angle involved in the issue. Well Jandial Sb.-is it human to plead the cause of WPRs & oppose the cause of those natives who have been thrown out of Jammu in 1947/1965 and whom the duly elected State Govt. wanted to give an option of coming back through re-settlement bill. Isn’t simple bigotry which reminds me of that famous Hindi film Song-‘gairoon par karam-Apnoon par situm’ Isn’t the leadership of Jammu opposing this bill tooth & nail on fears of evacuation of a vast majority of people in Jammu from properties belonging to killed or fleeing Muslims and illegally usurped by them. Have I to remind him what PM of India said during her election campaign in Jammu in 1982? And finally Jandial Sb-You have been a top bureaucrat and part of a Govt. which has put humanity to shame in Kashmir. It doesn’t look nice to hear words like ‘humanity’ from you.
In conclusion it must be said that While the world is slow in resolving the long outstanding dispute of Kashmir, India is fast widening its scope of intervention in the state to strengthen its hold. Its bid to issue domicile certificates to WPRs is one of the few arrows in its quiver to aim at demographic character of the state. And the cabal of local political thugs are making every effort to make Indian effort a success. Another Palestine is in the making, if the Indian attempt goes unchallenged.
(The author is a practicing chartered Accountant. Feed back at firstname.lastname@example.org)