JAMMU: The Jammu and Kashmir BJP unit Tuesday batted strongly for grant of seats reserved in the state assembly to displaced people of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
Twenty-five seats are reserved for the people from that region.
State BJP chief spokesperson Sunil Sethi said after a long struggle of more than seven decades, "the time has come to do complete justice to the displaced persons of areas of J-K, which are under the illegal occupation of Pakistan, by providing legal and constitutional recognition to their rights."
The displaced people from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) should be granted these reserved seats in the assembly to choose their representatives here, he said.
There are over 20 to 25 lakh displaced persons of PoK living in the Jammu region since their migration over 70 years ago, and it was in 1951 that a constituent assembly was set up to frame a constitution for the state.
The nation is bound by a parliamentary resolution of taking back areas of the state that are illegally occupied by Pakistan and China, Sethi said.
It is the right of the displaced persons from all these areas and their future generations to have the option of settling in their "heritage areas after those are freed (from Pakistan and China)", he said.
The BJP leader said the continued illegal occupation of these areas by the "two hostile neighbouring countries is defeat of peaceful coexistence."
"World bodies should focus on this issue to force the return of the occupied territories to India and India should adopt all ways and means to reclaim its territories," he said.
Sethi noted that till the territories are reclaimed and the process of settlement starts, the rights of persons who have been displaced from PoK should be recognised and honoured to give them due place in representative governance.
This can be done by providing for separate seats in Parliament and the state assembly as also in the state legislative council for them, he said.
"This will empower the community which has been suffering silently for more than seven decades", Sethi said.
He also demanded reservation and creation of special seats in technical, higher and specialised education institutions for the children from the community to provide avenues for growth.