News By/Courtesy: Aakash Raj | 18 Jan 2021 16:27pm IST

HIGHLIGHTS

  • women rights
  • Story of Saira Javid
  • Cases

There are no residency rights or travel papers for nearly 350 Pakistani brides living in Kashmir who are married to former militants and cannot meet their parents in the neighboring country. They have been holding demonstrations in various parts of Kashmir for the past 10 years to demand citizenship rights and travel documents to visit Pakistan. We have now lost confidence that residency rights could be obtained. They told a news conference in Srinagar recently that they shall now be declared illegal immigrants and be deported back to Pakistan, along with their husbands and kids. Living in Kupwara, Saira Javid, 43, remembers her birthplace, childhood, relatives, and the dusky lanes of Karachi every moment. She was excited to visit her parents' home in Pakistan, but due to current policies, she would not go now. Saira, who traces her origins to the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, states that her ancestors came to Karachi from Muzaffarabad. She married Javid Ahmad Dar in 2001, a Kashmiri who crossed the Weapons Training Line of Control (LoC) but gave up militant activities to live a peaceful life. The pair had two kids and lived in Karachi happily. With her arrival in Kashmir in 2011, her bad days began. On the persistent urging of my husband's relatives, we returned to Kashmir. I wasn't ready to come here, however, she says, Javid compelled her. Upon their arrival in Kashmir, the pair were arrested along with their two children and had to spend three to six months in Srinagar Central Jail before being released. Now a mother of four girls, Saira regrets the day she chose to move to Kashmir. It was my worst mistake. When he died two months ago, I didn't even have the luxury of seeing my father's face. She further added that she lives in an open jail here. This is not Saira's tale alone. It is the story of every stateless Pakistani bride married to Kashmiris who, after an armed conflict broke out in the area in 1989 and returned to the Valley to live a peaceful life, went to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) for weapons training, particularly after the government led by Omar Abdullah unveiled a policy for their return. Recently, concerns have also been asked regarding the role of such women in the Jammu and Kashmir electoral process, while in the past some of them have been Sarpanchs. In two district development council seats in Jammu and Kashmir, the authorities stopped counting votes after it came to light that two PoK women married to Kashmiris were contesting the elections. In 2010, the National Conference and Government of Congress, headed by Omar Abdullah, launched a program to encourage the return of young people who belong to Jammu and Kashmir and have crossed over to PoK for weapons training, but have given up rebel activities due to a change of heart and are ready to return to the state. The policy allowed such young people's spouses to join India but remained silent about granting them rights. In compliance with the current rules, spouses, and children who are dependent on the returnees who wish to accompany them will be considered for entry into India. The Bureau of Immigration will communicate the entry of all such people into the country directly to J&K Police/CID from the respective entry points. 

 

This Article Does Not Intend To Hurt The Sentiments Of Any Individual Community, Sect, Or Religion Etcetera. This Article Is Based Purely On The Authors Personal Views And Opinions In The Exercise Of The Fundamental Right Guaranteed Under Article 19(1)(A) And Other Related Laws Being Force In India, For The Time Being.

Section Editor: Pushpit Singh | 18 Jan 2021 20:46pm IST


Tags : #WomenRights #KashmirCitizenship

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