Jammu, Oct 22 (UNI): The SOS International Chairman, Rajiv Chuni on Sunday regretted that no administrative set up at the Centre, and in Jammu and Kashmir have ever bothered to address the genuine aspirations of 17 lakh displaced persons from Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir (PoJK) that has only strengthened the sense of injustice and gross discrimination among them.
Chuni said the indifferent and discriminatory policies of the Government of India has only fuelled the feeling that the political representations of these refugees, who have been subjected to unspeakable atrocities, including massacres, rapes, and the loss of their ancestral homes, are being taken away.
“October 22 marks a grim anniversary in the history of PoJK refugees, as it was on this day in 1947 that the Pakistan Army, accompanied by tribal hordes, launched a brutal attack on Muzaffarabad. The ensuing violence led to the mass exodus of Hindus and Sikhs, who were subjected to unspeakable atrocities. The PoJK region was systematically cleansed of Hindus and Sikhs, leaving them with nothing but painful memories and a burning desire for justice,” Chuni said addressing a gathering of PoJK refugees here organized by Confederation of All Organizations of DPs of 1947, 65, 71.
Chuni said the story of the PoJK refugees was one of untold suffering and unfulfilled promises.
“Despite numerous recommendations and pledges over the years, these refugees continue to struggle for basic political representation and recognition in Jammu and Kashmir,” he rued.
He reminded of the enduring plight of PoJK refugees and the urgent need for action to rectify this injustice.
“It is high time for the government of India to fulfill the genuine aspirations of the PoJK refugees and ensure that their voices are heard in the political processes of the region. “Only then can a sense of justice and closure be brought to these long-suffering individuals and their families,” he said.
Chuni said his heartfelt words resonated with the 17 lakh refugees, who have been longing for justice and recognition since their displacement in the turbulent days of 1947.
He vociferously raised the issue of reservation of a single seat for PoJK refugees against the two seats for Kashmiri migrants.
“The Kashmiri migrants, who are the natives of Kashmir and have a population of just three lakhs, are being given two seats in the Legislative Assembly while the PoJK refugees who are 17 lakh in numbers have been given just a single seat which is a grave injustice and cruel joke with the PoJK. It has given an impression that the genuine rights of PoJK have been taken away in a planned way,” the senior refugee leader said.
“There was a provision in the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir Constitution that reserved eight assembly seats for PoJK refugees. In theory, these eight seats should serve as the much-needed political representation for the refugees, a promise that has eluded them for decades,” he said.