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'India should reserve IIT, IIM seats for Pakistani Kashmiris'

Tuesday May 10, 2011 04:07:07 PM, IANS

New Delhi: India should reserve seats in its elite educational institutions for Pakistani Kashmiris who are bearing the brunt of state apathy, a new report has recommended.

The report, "Pakistan Occupied Kashmir: Changing the Discourse", by New Delhi-based Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, recasts the demand of students of Gilgit-Baltistan to have quotas in the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and law colleges of India.

The demand was made by residents of Pakistani Kashmir during their visit to India in 2006.

"Not very long ago, in 2006, students from Gilgit-Baltistan demanded reservation of seats in top Indian institutions. This should not be very difficult for the Indian government to implement," the IDSA report recommends.

The Gilgit-Baltistan residents, who were in Delhi for a conference, had passed a resolution that stated: "The Government of India should provide openings in higher, professional and technical educational institutions to deserving students from Gilgit-Baltistan and Pakistan-administered Kashmir, who are denied necessary facilities for such education."

Interestingly, the Jammu and Kashmir assembly has 25 seats reserved for members from the areas under Pakistani control since 1947.

The report alleges that Pakistan has forced demographic changes in the territory since its occupation.

"Chinese and jihadi influences are on the rise. Against this backdrop, India's response to the developments in PoK, which is legally its own territory, has been rather lukewarm," it laments.

"There is hardly any effort in India to clearly define its objective on PoK which is regarded as an integral part of its territory. There is a greater need for India to clearly define its strategic objectives with regard to PoK and also elucidate how it intends to fulfil those objectives.

On the human rights violations in the region, it points out that the "proponents of human rights worldwide have largely ignored the atrocities in PoK committed by the Pakistani state".

It states that the region "is fundamentally backward and comprises areas with little or nothing in terms of infrastructural development that presents a dismal picture of deprivation both in socio-economic and political terms".





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