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People displaced from Pak occupied areas need attention from Government of India
So far the people of the areas of J&K occupied by Pakistan have remained neglected, discriminated and unattended from the strategic, political, economic, social and constitutional angles. There is a need to recover these areas that were occupied by Pakistan in 1947 given the fact that they are strategically important from India's defence point of view.

Any state of a country that borders some other country has a strategic position. That way Punjab, Assam, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh too occupy strategic positions. So, the importance of J&K should also be seen from the point of view that it shares borders with Pakistan, Afghanistan and China.

Similarly, India/ Bharat should not be seen as a country that was created in 1947.It was Pakistan that was created in 1947. Bharat existed since millennia. It was in 1947 that the people of India accepted the unfortunate fortunes written through an Act of British Parliament known as Indian Independence Act 1947, thereby keeping some areas for those who did not want to stay in Independent India with people who practiced religion other than Islam.

It was devised for their convenience that British had divided Bharat into British India and Princely States. Pakistan was cut out of British India only. No area of J&K was included in areas marked for Pakistan, as per Indian Independence Act 1947. To avoid any turmoil, the people of India accepted the birth of Pakistan that was thrust out of British designs although Indians were not obliged to accept the fortunes as would be written by an invader on its forced retreat. The maharaja of Indian Princely State of J&K also accepted the paramount status of the Indian Dominion through an Instrument of accession well before the Constitution of Democratic Indian Republic was adopted for future governance.

As per Annual Administration Report of the J&K State for the Samvat 1997/98 ( 16 Oct 1940 to 15 Oct 1941) the area of Jammu& Kashmir State including the Jurisdictional Jagirs of Poonch & Chenani is approximately 86171 sq miles / 223104 sq km ( 84471 sq miles/ 218957 sq km plus 1600 sq mile /4147.2 sq km). As per the website of J&K Raj Bhawan, out of 2, 22,236 sq. kms area of J&K 78114 sq. kms is under the illegal occupation of Pakistan and 42, 685 sq. kms under that of China.

As per a Planning Commission Report Chapter –VI page 336 ,37555 Sq Km, area was occupied by China in 1962 and control of 5180 Sq km out of the J&K areas occupied by Pakistan was given to China in 1963 by Pakistan (also as per reply to Rajay Sabha Q- 367 by Chandra Mitra on 15-03-2012 ). As per the website of Pakistan government, the areas of J&K with Pakistan are 13297 sq km called as Azad Kashmir by Pakistan ( languages spoken there are Pahari, Mirpuri, Gojri, Hindko, Punjabi, Pashto and Kashmiri ) and 72496 sq km called Northern Areas (Gilgit Baltistan - people there speak Shina language and can speak and understand Urdu and English) . The areas displayed on the websites of different agencies do not match. GOI should seriously look into this.

A very large part of the Pakistan occupied area of J&K (Gilgit Baltistan 72497 sq Km) has remained unaddressed by India. Socio Economic focus so far has been only on the areas (13297 sq km) of erstwhile districts of Mirpur and Muzafarabad of J&K ( Oct 1947). This has provided enough opportunity to Pakistan /some local leaders to exploit the people of Gilgit - Baltistan in the name of religion, accusing India of not owning them. It has also provided enough grounds to some people of Kashmir Valley (that formed 10% 22000/222236 of total area of J&K 1947) and just 7% (15948/ 222236) when the area occupied by Pakistan is excluded for raising Anti 1947 accession voice and above all unduly presenting Kashmir Valley as sole representative voice of J&K.

Whereas, even the Jammu region forms 16.34% (36315 / 222236) of the total area of J&K and 11.12% (26294 / 222236) of the area when the area occupied by Pakistan is excluded. Ladakh region extends over 165000 sq km of which large area is under Pakistan/ China occupation and bulk of such area is from Jammu and Ladakh regions of J&K. Therefore, the need is to address the people and areas of J&K that are under the occupation of Pakistan and people who are from POJK. After 1947, some more areas of J&K including Chamb were left by India with Pakistan after 1971 war.

It may surprise many that neither GOI nor J&K Government can tell the number of the families that were displaced from the Mirpur District, Muzafarrabad District, Gilgit, Sakardu, Baltistan and like in 1947. No regular registration was done for the families who managed to escape from the areas occupied by invaders although they were officially named as Displaced Persons vide order No: 1476-C of 1950 dated 16.12.1950 issued under the signatures by the then Prime Minister of J&K Sheikh Mohd. Abdullah Vide letter No. RAHAB-9/II/79 dated 27.11.79 of Secretary to Government of J&K, Rehabilitation (1974) Department, in reply to letter No: RS5 (18)/78-Com. II dated 27 July, 1979 from a Committee on Petitions (a petition signed by Bachan Singh Panchi President Jammu Kashmir Sharnarthi Action Committee was presented in Rajya Sabha on 26 December 1978 by Sheikh Abdul Rehman). It said that (a) there was no department known as Rehabilitation Department in existence at that time and the size of problem of displaced persons uprooted from Pak Occupied area of J&K was enormous (b) a large number of DPs went outside J&K State (c) there was no agency to register these refugees immediately on their entry into the State.

The committee on petitions was told in 1978/80 that in all 31696 applications were received for ex gratia grant; 262 families were not paid ex gratia because of income being more than Rs.300 per month and 344 applications had been rejected because they had not migrated along with head of the family within the crucial migration period. The number of families of DPs is often quoted as 31619 but the question is when applications were never invited on all India-basis for general registration, how number for 1947DPs could be quoted as 31619.

The report (Sixty second report 11.04.1980 ) of Committee on Petition headed by Bipinpal Das (MP) was presented in Rajya Sabha on 13.06.1980 . But even in 2013, neither Government of India nor Government of J&K can tell what is the population of the Displaced persons from Pakistan Occupied areas of J&K staying in J&K and other parts of India what to talk of the population, miseries and problems of the people of J&K living in Pak Occupied areas (Gilgit, Baltistan, Skardu, Mirpur, Muzaffarabad, Kotli, Bhimber and Chamb etc).

No claims for properties have been paid to the people who had to run for life from Pakistan Occupied areas. As per unofficial quotes, more than 20000 families might have lost their dear ones while running from the occupied areas and about 5000 families might have been totally eliminated.

There are many families of DPs who went to other Indian states. Their number count is also not available.

A. Government of India must set first priorities for addressing at the international level to the problems of the people staying put in Gilgit – Baltistan, Mirpur, Muzafarrabad, Kotli, Bhimber, Chamb and at the internal level to the needs/ problems of the Displaced persons from those areas.

B. 1. GOI / J&K Government must issue a general advertisement inviting applications from all the POJK DP families for registration. 2. POJK DPs should be asked to provide details of their properties left back, if needed assistance be given for collecting old DOCs from POJK authorities since some official activities across LOC have been started. 3. DPs who went to other parts of India should be given the State Subject Certificates / PRC on the basis of the certification from their relations. Divisional Commissioner Jammu and Div Commissioner Kashmir (for Muzaffrabad, Baltistan, Gilgit, etc) could be Appellate Authority for such POJK DPs.

4. The DPs form POK be given adequate compensation (may be on an average at least Rs.50 Lakh per family at today’s prices) for their displacement/ properties they had in POJK/ delay in payment. 5. Since no regular monthly relief / capital assistance/ special treatment in employment or education or settlement of trade were given, some special package be given to their children. 6. In case GOI is hopeful for return of POJK DPs , still they need be compensated for the loss suffered by them due to delay. Agricultural lands allotted should be completed to the size as was determined by the Joint Rehabilitation Board headed by the then Major General Tara Singh Bal i.e., land measuring 12 acres Abi/ 18 acres Khushkee. 7. Originally 25 seats out of 100 in the J&K Legislative assembly were kept for the POJK areas.

Later on, the POJK seats were reduced from 25 to 24 under 12th Constitutional amendment to Clause (a) of Section 48 of J&K Constitution on 19-08-1975. J&K Legislature could consider amending Section-48 of J&K Constitution for taking out some seats out of these seats for POK DPs to send their representatives to J&K legislature. 8. POJK DPs be given giving reservations in education, recruitments and business loans keeping in view that they have not been treated that compassionately in the initial stages / days of turmoil, rather not even till today. 9. The token ex gratia paid to them in 1960 should be written off since it was so insignificant. 10. A high level commission must be appointed for their welfare.

It is very unfair to deny the due benefits and considerations to POJK displaced persons simply with a plea that in case they are granted compensations, India would lose claim on POJK territory.

(About the Contributor: Mr. Daya Sagar is a social activist and leading scribe on Kashmir affairs)

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