Why Do They Need Identity Certificates If They Have Aadhar Cards?

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Srinagar: Even after the government has clarified that West Pakistan Refugees (WPRs) are given identification and not domicile certificates, but the “controversial issue” refuses to die down.

A number of questions are being posed to the government about the need to provide identity certificates to the WPRs when they are already possessing Aadhaar cards.

While the Hurriyat has asked government to clarify the difference between Identification and Domicile certificates and criticised the Education Minister and government Spokesman Naeem Akhtar for “telling lies”. At the same time a debate between the writers, thinkers and senior journalists has started on social networking sites over the controversial issue that may well snowball into a controversy.

The debate started after noted writer and former Professor at Jammu University, Rekha Chowdhary posted on Facebook that the response that has started building up in Kashmir about the ‘domicile certificate being issued to the West Pakistan refugees is rather unfortunate.

She said even without going into the facts of the matter or the depth of the issue, there is a sweeping response that it is a ‘conspiracy’ to change the demography of the state.

“The response cuts across the party lines and the mainstream-separatist divide. It is going to be one of those issues around which the sentiments of ‘Kashmiri identity’ are going to be raised. The certificate that is being issued to the refugees is not ‘PRC’ but a certificate to the effect that these people are residing in the state. There is no way that this certificate can be used to issue them PRC now or any time in the future. This is also being clearly stated by state administration as well as the government,” she said.

She went on defending BJP saying this is a step which should be seen more as compromise on the part of BJP rather than PDP.

“As the logic of this decision goes, the PDP has not compromised on its ideological stance and has not accepted the demand to treat West Pakistan refugees at par with the permanent residents of the state. However, the BJP by accepting this arrangement has explicitly accepted the special constitutional status of the state and the sanctity of the PRC,” she added.

 “There is a bee to resolve this issue as soon as possible but not through backdoor- let those political forces who advocate full PR rights to West Pak refugees take steps in that direction and those who disagree resist. Similarly those who want justice to the survivors of Jammu massacre should also be listened to – the resettlement bill is eating dust somewhere in Supreme Court. We also need to look at what is happening in Assam. All these issues are interlinked – and yes we need to look at the entire issue of J&K through humanitarian prism and once that happens, we will see a way forward,” posted Jaleel.

Noted businessman and civil society member, who believes that settlement of Kashmir issue will be through economics, posted: “I fail to understand why the state or others are issuing the domicile certificate when there is electoral card and now Aadhaar card most probably with them and the reasons given for issuing can be sufficed by the above two identifications,” he said.

Shah went on saying that BJP was continuing its agenda to dilute the special status and to allay such fears the State government like Punjab government (which refused to apply the water ruling of Supreme Court) refuses to apply the SARAFESA act and goes to the constitution bench with the Central government not opposing it and gives an undertaking to the court that they will confine legislation as per the then agreement with the Maharajah which was limited in nature which is known.—KNS

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