Kashmiri Pandits demand Assembly, Parliamentary seats for PoK, Shaksgam Valley

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A Kashmiri Pandit organisation has demanded that the Delimitation Commission should mandate Parliamentary and Assembly seats for PoK, Shaksgam Valley and the main Karakoram Range, which has been illegally occupied by China.

Satish Mahaldar, Chairman, Reconciliation, Return and Rehabilitation of Migrants, said, “While abolishing Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, the Government of India retained provisions related to the Pakistan occupied Kashmir, reserving 24 seats in the Legislative Assembly of Union Territory of J&K. The J&K Constitution, enacted in 1956, had earmarked 24 seats in the Legislative Assembly that were left vacant and not contested during state elections.”

He said the Delimitation Commission should provide Parliamentary seats and Assembly seats for the Shaksgam Valley and main Karakoram Range.

India has declared J&K, including PoK, Shaksgam Valley and main Karakoram Range as integral parts of India and any issue related to these is the internal matter of India.

The Delimitation Commission is mandated to redraw the boundaries of the existing constituencies of Jammu and Kashmir (UT). It should also take the Supreme Court’s view while delimiting additional Lok Sabha seats for Parliament and Assembly of the Union Territory, including the PoK region, Shaksgam Valley & main Karakoram Range (illegally Occupied by China).

The Supreme Court has said, “Delimitation is not a mathematical exercise. It must reflect the political aspirations of society bound in a particular geography,” Mahaldar said.

“Though the population forms the base (for delimitation), the Commission shall take into account constituencies’ practicality, geographical compatibility, topography, physical features, means of communication and convenience available besides granting reservation to the Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Scheduled Caste (SC) communities and to indigenous original aborigines — the Kashmiri Pandit community.

In case Delimitation Commission fails while delimiting additional Lok Sabha and Assembly seats for PoK region, Shaksgam Valley and main Karakoram Range (Ladakh) which are parts of Jammu and Kashmir (UT), then an agitation will be launched, said Mahaldar.

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