Narendra Modi's big plan for PoK refugees in India – A Rs 2,000 crore package
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had during Independence Day speech talked about the plight of people of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and Balochistan.
New Delhi: After Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed concerns over "gross human rights" situation in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and Balochistan region, the government has proposed a Rs 2,000-crore package for people displaced from PoK living in India.
The Home Ministry is expected to put forward the details of the package before the Cabinet for approval soon.
According to news agency PTI, the Jammu and Kashmir government has zeroed in 36,348 such families which will be given around Rs 5.5 lakh each.
"We hope that within a month, the package will get approval from the Union Cabinet and the funds could be distributed among the beneficiaries," the agency quoted a senior official as saying.
Refugees from Pakistan, mostly from PoK, are settled in different parts of Jammu, Kathua, and Rajouri districts. However, they are not permanent residents of the state in terms of Jammu and Kashmir Constitution.
Some of the families were displaced during partition in 1947, and others during the 1965 and 1971 wars with Pakistan.
This is to be underlined that the displaced people can cast their ballots in Lok Sabha polls but not in the polls to the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly.
Jammu and Kashmir Sharanarthi Action Committee (JKSAC), an organisation representing the displaced people of the PoK has been maintaining that the package should not be seen as final settlement as Rs 9,200 crore was required to settle all of them.
The Modi government had in January 2015 approved certain concessions for the refugees from West Pakistan settled in Jammu and Kashmir after considering the problems being faced by them.
The concessions include special recruitment drives for induction into paramilitary forces, equal employment opportunities in the state, admission for the children of refugees in Kendriya Vidyalayas, among others.
Modi in this year's Independence Day speech had said that Pakistan was a supporter of "terrorism" and that the people of Balochistan, Gilgit and Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir had thanked him in the past few days for support.
The government has maintained that PoK and Gilgit-Baltistan are part of Jammu and Kashmir.
There have been reports that government is planning to invite the Diaspora from PoK, Gilgit-Baltistan for the next Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas to be held in Bengaluru.
(With PTI inputs)