Other States

End our ordeal, says ex-militants’ wives

Emotional moment: A woman crying during a protest in Srinagar on Saturday.

Emotional moment: A woman crying during a protest in Srinagar on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: NISSAR AHMAD

Women from PoK and Pakistan feel stranded; want govt. to issue travel documents

Stranded wives of former militants from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) and Pakistan on Saturday held a street demonstration in Srinagar, urging Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart, Imran Khan, to “chalk out a mechanism to allow them and their children a free movement across the Line of Control to meet their families”.

Mehtab, a mother of three from Karachi, said she and her children felt stranded in Kashmir after they decided to take up the rehabilitation policy offered by the Omar Abdullah government in 2010 for former militants to return from PoK.

“I appeal to Mr. Modi and Mr. Khan to find a way out to end our ordeal. For the past six years, we are applying for the travel documents. However, the question of our nationality is yet to be settled. Our children are also facing adaptability issues here. I lost my mother. I wish to pray for her at her grave in Pakistan,” said Ms. Mehtab, married to Imtiyaz Ahmad Wani from Kupwara.

On Saturday, Ms. Mehtab was accompanied by around two dozen women from PoK and Pakistan, who have turned “stateless” after returning to J&K. They held a demonstration in Srinagar to press for their demand to be issued travel documents. The protest was held just a day ahead of Mr. Modi’s visit to J&K.

“We are aged now. My elder daughter is pursuing a Master’s in Arts. I got married in 1995 to Ghulam Hassan Lone from Kashmir and am yet to have basic right to travel and see my family across the LoC. We have applied for travel documents like passport. But no document is being issued to us,” said Fozia Begum, a resident of PoK’s capital Muzaffarabad.

The Hindu had reported the first such case, of a PoK bride Kubra Gillani, 27, who was divorced by her husband in Anantnag and was left stateless.

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 5:11:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/end-our-ordeal-says-ex-militants-wives/article26163518.ece

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