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Pakistan Origin Kashmiri Brides Seek Citizenship Rights, Travel Documents

SRINAGAR: A group of Pakistani origin Kashmiri brides who had returned under the J&K government’s rehabilitation programme for surrendered militants on Monday said the Kashmir valley wasn’t a “safe” place for them while demanding that they should be sent back to their homes in Pakistan.

A group of Pakistan origin Kashmiri brides addressing a press conference in Srinagar on Monday, January 4, 2021. KL Image by Bilal Bahadur

Addressing a press conference at Press Club Srinagar, the women group said the government of India has denied them citizenship following which they should be allowed to go back to their home country.

“The Pakistani embassy has been writing to the Indian Foreign Minister regularly to allow us to visit our homes. We want to return home to meet our dear ones,” they said, adding that they have knocked all doors but to no avail.

They said when a Pak origin Kashmiri bride, Somiya Sadaf contested the elections recently, she was allowed to do so but soon the government stopped counting on the seat wherefrom she was contesting.

“It seems the government was in deep slumber when many Pak origin women were elected as Sarpanchs and Panchs,” they said.

“We appeal the government to address our issues. We are living a miserable life here. Future of our children seems dark as we are not being considered as citizens of India,” Saira one of the bride 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 the UT of Jammu and Kashmir,” she added.

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