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Pakistani wives of former militants seek citizenship rights

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Srinagar: The Pakistani wives of many former militants, who returned to Kashmir under the then Omar Abdullah led state government’s rehabilitation policy in 2010, addressed a press conference, stating neither they are being granted citizenship nor being send back to Pakistan.
These Pakistani wives of many former militants were led by one Saira Javaid who while addressing a presser at Kashmir Press Club said that government has done nothing to help them.
“We are living a miserable life here. Future of our children seems dark as we are not being considered as citizens here and our appeal to facilitate our return to Pakistan has fallen deaf ears,” she said.
“Dozens of Pakistani women who had arrived in Kashmir along with their former militant husbands through India-Nepal border under the government’s rehabilitation policy in 2010 are treated as second-class citizens,” she said.
“We appeal the Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha to either provide us the travel documents or do justice with us by providing us proper citizenship rights in Jammu and Kashmir,” Saira Javaid said.
She said that the government has been insensitive with regards to issuance of travel documents to the wives of former militants who had arrived in Kashmir before or after 2010.
“Our appeal to the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan is to address our issues sensibly. We have been suffering. Either grant us citizenship rights or send us back to Pakistan,” she said.
“How long are we supposed to be like this? Our husbands who had crossed over the LoC for arms training in 1990, and returned along with their families after Omar Abdullah-led government assured them that they will be treated at par with other citizens of Jammu and Kashmir. It seems we made a big mistake,” she said.
Scores of Kashmiri youth went to Pakistan, crossing the line of control (LoC), for arms training after militancy erupted in early 90s. Some of them married and settled down there.
Many, however, returned to Kashmir via Nepal with their families after the Omar Abdullah government in 2010 announced a rehabilitation scheme for surrendered militants. (KNT)


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