Jammu: Amid raging controversy over Article 370 which grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir, the state`s ruling National Conference on Thursday said West Pakistani refugees can be given their rights under the existing legal framework, without scrapping the constitutional provision.
"Without scrapping Article 370, West Pakistani refugees can be given rights (in Jammu and Kashmir)," Jammu National Conference (NC) chief Devender Singh Rana told reporters here this evening.
Rana, who was replying to question about West Pakistani refugees being denied citizenship and voting rights in Jammu and Kashmir because of Article 370, said, "West Pakistani refugees should get their rights. Talks are going on (with regard to citizenship rights to them in J&K)."
More than 1.5 lakh West Pakistani refugees, who moved to India during Partition and settled in the border belts of Jammu and Samba districts, do not enjoy citizenship rights and are denied benefits in education and jobs.
The NC leader said, "It is possible (to give them rights) within the framework of the law. There is no need to revoke Article 370 for that."
Wondering over the stance taken by BJP over abrogation of Article 370, Rana said "there should be a debate so that the people of the country known about it".