‘Give Us Citizenship Or Repatriate Us’

Pakistani Brides of Ex Militants Stage Protest in Srinagar, Seek Deportation

Srinagar: Pakistani women married to former Kashmiri militants, who had arrived in Kashmir Valley under government’s rehabilitation policy in 2010, Monday once again staged a protest in the capital Srinagar.

Holding placards, and raising slogans, these women asked the Government of India either provide them citizenship rights or deport them back to Pakistan.

The protesting women along with their kids assembled here at Press Enclave and appealed both India and Pakistan to think about them and do justice to them on humanitarian grounds.

They said when they are not entitled to citizenship how come a Pakistani woman was allowed to contest DDC polls.

“We are suffering badly. Please send us back or give us citizenship rights. We appeal both India and Pakistan to think about us. We want to visit our home,” the protesting women said.

“Our appeal to the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan is to address our issues sensibly. We are living a miserable life here, and our future seems bleak. Please help us and deport us,” they said.

They said scores 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”.

“We are also human beings and want to be treated justly. What is our fault? We were promised something but got another thing. Now our husbands are living peacefully, but we are suffering. We are out of touch with our families and on humanitarian grounds, we should be allowed to go back to Pakistan or be given citizenship rights,” they said.

Hundreds of Kashmiri men who went to PaK for arms training in the 1990s and early 2000s came back with wives after then Omar Abdullah-led J&K government introduced a “rehabilitation scheme” in 2010 for those who had crossed over to the other side of the LoC between 1889 and 2009.

However, a decade later, the policy has left behind a trail of broken families, domestic abuse, unemployment and for many wives of former militants, a yearning for their home.

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