Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir Is Ours Amit Shah Reiterates in Rajya Sabha

Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir Is Ours Amit Shah Reiterates in Rajya Sabha

Mr Shah said that everyone has supported all the elements of the two bills unanimously

New Delhi:

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday reaffirmed inside Parliament that Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) is part of India and that no one can snatch the region from us.

The Union Home Minister was replying to debate in the Rajya Sabha on the two bills– The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill 2023 and The Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill 2023– which were passed by the Lok Sabha on December 7.

He said that the Delimitation Commission, set up by the Centre for the delimitation of assemblies and parliamentary constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir, has reserved 24 seats for PoK as it is ours.

“The delimitation commission has taken many other decisions. I just want to tell the past and present situation before the House. Earlier there were only 37 seats in Jammu (division), now the new Delimitation Commission has increased the number of seats from 37 to 43 in the Jammu region. Work has been done to make 47 seats instead of 46 in Kashmir (division). In this way, Jammu and Kashmir together have 90 seats against 83 seats earlier. And 24 seats of PoK have been kept reserved because we still believe that…(and) today I want to say again that PoK belongs to India, it is ours and that no one can take it from us,” Mr Shah said.

The Jammu and Kashmir Reservation (Amendment) Bill, 2023, was introduced in Lok Sabha on July 26, 2023. It amends the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation Act of 2004.

The Act provides for reservation in jobs and admission in professional institutions to members of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and other socially and educationally backward classes.

The other seeks to insert new sections 15A and 15B in the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019 to nominate not more than two members, one of whom shall be a woman, from the community of “Kashmiri Migrants” and one member from “Displaced Persons from Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir”, to the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly.

The two bills on the Jammu and Kashmir Reservation are aimed at providing “rights to those who faced injustice” and were deprived of their rights in the Union Territory.

Mr Shah said that everyone has supported all the elements of the two bills unanimously.

Stating that the term ‘weak and deprived class’ is a very hurtful name for any citizen, he said, “It has been decided to add the name ‘Other Backward Class’ in place of these terms, which are constitutional terms.”

The second bill is to give respect to everyone including Kashmiri Pandits displaced in Jammu and Kashmir over the years, Shah said.

“Terrorism (in J-K) started in the 80s, and reached its peak in 1989, many Kashmiri Hindus, especially Kashmiri Pandits and many Sikh brothers left the valley and scattered across the country. They went to Jammu, went to Bengaluru, went to Gujarat, went to Delhi, went to Faridabad…they scattered so much that in their own country they became displaced and refugees. (This bill) is to honour those people,” he said.

During his address, the Union Home Minister said a total of 46,631 families and 1,97,967 people, who were displaced registered themselves with the government after the Centre’s efforts.

He said that the ones displaced including Kashmiri Pandits who are left from registering themselves can approach the government.

“Today, through this House, I want to tell the Kashmiri Pandits and other displaced persons scattered across the country that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government is committed to providing you justice. You write to me, write to the Kashmir government. Your registration will be done without any hassle. You will become a voter, you will be able to contest elections and you can also become a minister in Jammu and Kashmir. You have full rights,” he said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)