430,000 new domicile certificates issued in IIOJK, says AFP » Kashmir Media Service

Islamabad, August 31 (KMS): Bhartiya Janta Party led India’s fascist government has issued some 430,000 new domicile certificates in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir despite the coronavirus pandemic.

The data was given by Paris-based international news agency, AFP. It further revealed that it is unclear how many of the 430,000 certificates have been issued to people from outside and how many to original residents of the occupied territory.

AFP pointed out that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is changing IIOJK’s residency laws for the first time since 1947, in a bid to snuff out any challenge to the occupied territory.

In this regard, the AFP while drawing comparisons with Israel’s settler tactics in the occupied Palestinian territories, citing critics said that Modi’s Hindu nationalist government aims to change the demographic makeup and identity of the Muslim-majority Jammu and Kashmir.

Referring to India’s illegal actions taken in August last year and the subsequent issuing of new domicile rules, the critics said that creating such new facts on the ground in IIOJK has long been advocated by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the hardline Hindu parent organisation to Modi’s BJP party.

“What I see unfolding is a Hindu settler colonial project in the making,” Mona Bhan, associate professor of anthropology at New York based Syracuse University who has long researched Kashmir, said.

The changes are the most drastic imposed since 1947, Siddiq Wahid, a historian and political analyst, said, adding, “It was done with the intent to open the gates to demographic flooding.”

According to the new domicile rules, the locals too now have to apply for the new domicile certificates in order to qualify for permanent resident rights. To get this, they have to produce their Permanent Resident Certificates (PRC).

An engineering graduate said young Kashmiris were in effect being forced to give their political loyalty to India in exchange for a livelihood. “They say, you want a job, OK, get the domicile document first,” he said.

“It’s a travesty that I have to compete with outsiders for citizenship rights in my own homeland,” said a student — who wished also to remain anonymous out of fear of problems with the authorities.

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