Protracted Displacement in Conflict Zones: Refugees and Internally Displaced People in Jammu and Kashmir

  • Reeta Chowdhari Tremblay University of Victoria


This study concentrates on the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir and on those displaced people who, for the past six and a half decades, have remained invisible against the high profile background of the conflict between India and Pakistan over the Kashmir region.  Their difficult situation arises in large part from the identity-based politics of Kashmir Valley which has led to the failure of the state (both national and regional) fully to respond to their very significant conflict-induced displacement resettlement requirements. This essay will address two distinct types of displacement which occurred in 1947 in the wake of Partition and the tribal invasion of the Princely State: the one involving the West Pakistan Refugees (WPR) who moved from Pakistani towns adjacent to the State of Jammu and Kashmir and had not been citizens of the Princely State of Jammu and Kashmir; and the other involving the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir Displaced People (PoKDP), citizens of the State, who moved from the Pakistan-administered part of Kashmir to the Indian-administered Kashmir, mainly the Jammu region and surrounding areas.  Both groups belonged predominantly to the Hindu community.  While the former, the WPR, remain stateless with no citizenship rights in J&K, the latter, the PoKDP, are considered by the State as temporary migrants, and thus have received only temporary relief.


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