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West Pakistani refugees given domicile certificates in J-K, gearing up to celebrate first anniversary of scrapping Article 370

Just Earth News | @justearthnews | 25 Jul 2020 Print

West Pakistani refugees given domicile certificates in J-K, gearing up to celebrate first anniversary of scrapping Article 370

Srinagar: Refugees from West Pakistan are gearing up to celebrate the Indian government's move of abrogating Article 370 and Article 35A next month as they believe it paved the way for them to get domicile certificates after residing in the region for several decades.

Ganesh Chander, a West Pakistani refugee, told ANI that with domicile certificates, members of his community can even apply for government jobs, something which was not possible one year ago.

Apart from scrapping Article 370, the Indian government last year in August took the bold move of dividing the region into two territories- Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

“One year ago we were very concerned. Our children could not get admission further after completing matriculation. They could not take up jobs. Whatever Modi ji has done in the last one year is very good. There has been no other PM in the last 70 years who have done so much for us. This is a huge thing for us,” Chander told ANI.

“With our domicile certificate we will be entitled to all rights. We can now get jobs like other people in Jammu and Kashmir. We can also own land in our name. For us, Modi ji is God,” he said.

Labha Ram Gandhi, President West Pakistani Action Refugee Committee told ANI that refugees were called ‘Pakistani’ and could not opt for higher education or even apply for jobs.

“I thank PM Modi, Home Minister and the government for abrogating Article 370 and 35 A. Whenever our children go for any recruitment, they were sidelined by calling them Pakistani. For us, all doors were closed as we do not have permanent resident citizenship,” he said.

“When Article 370 and 35A was abrogated, we are very happy that we got citizenship rights here. Our children can take further higher education and apply for jobs. We were not allowed to vote earlier. We were called as ‘Pakistani’,” Gandhi said.