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Hurriyat resents plans to push back Kashmiri migrants

Srinagar, July 27, 2007:

The Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) based chapter of separatist alliance, All Parties Hurriyat Conference, has expressed concern over a news report stating that PaK government was planning to force return of migrants to Indian administered Kashmir.

A newspaper report stated that the Muhajir (Refugee) cards of over 15,000 migrants from Indian administered Kashmir would be cancelled by Sep 15 and the government would force their return.

A large number of people particularly youth crossed the ceasefire line in Kashmir-some for refuge, others to join guerrilla groups fighting Indian rule- after anti-India insurgency broke out in Indian administered Kashmir in 1989.

Resenting the reported plans, the convenor of the PaK chapter of Hurriyat Conference, Muhammad Farooq Rehmani, said the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir was a single unit, and Kashmiris could reside where ever they wished to live in the state.

"According to the State Subject law and also by judgments of Muzaffarabad and Srinagar High Courts, Kashmiris were entitled to reside where ever they wished," Rehmani said.

“They (migrants from Indian administered Kashmir) have Pakistani citizenship facilities until the final resolution of Kashmir dispute according to the constitution of Pakistan,” he added.

Rehmani urged the PaK administration to make its position clear about the report.

"Under what guarantee and why without the right of self determination Kashmiri Muhajireen would be sent back against their wishes only to be tortured and killed by Indian sponsored armed gangs across the cease-fire line," Rehmani asked, "Kashmir was still a killing field for its inhabitants."

He said that he would call a meeting of the Hurriyat Conference within next few days to discuss this "shocking news report".

After the independence and subsequent partition of British India into India and Pakistan in 1947, Jammu and Kashmir was divided by a ceasefire line between the two countries.

Both India and Pakistan claim Jammu and Kashmir in full, while a strong voice for independence has emerged in the region.

An anti-India insurgency broke out in Indian administered Kashmir in 1989, with guerrilla groups organising themselves in Pakistan administered Kashmir.

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