Kashmiri Students, Travellers ‘Barred’ From Visiting Pak

Badar Bashir

Srinagar: Protest broke out Wednesday at the Wagah border in Punjab after dozens of Kashmiris, including travellers and students were allegedly barred from visiting Pakistan despite possessing all travel documents.

According to reports, hundreds of people, including Kashmiris had converged near the Wagah since Tuesday to cross over to the neighbouring country. However, dozens of Kashmiris, including students, travellers and elderly who were scheduled to visit their relatives on the other side were prevented from crossing over, while Pakistani travellers were allowed to return.

“I had to visit my sister who is currently pursuing MBBS in Pakistan. However, when I reached the border this morning, we were told that Kashmiris can’t be allowed to go to Pakistan,” Hamnah Parvez, a protester said.

“Another family stranded with me has a daughter who has to appear in exams. If she can’t make it soon, she will have to drop a year,” she added.

A medical student wishing not to be named alleged that the officials at the Wagah were continuously changing their statements causing distress among the Kashmiris.

“They told us that the procedure has changed and that we have to bring permission from home ministry. We don’t know what the officials are up to,” he said.

He said that the Pakistani embassy had confirmed to the travellers to allow them access on March 17 through Wagah border.

“We have proper visa and all the documents yet they are holding us back. They have allowed all the non Kashmiris, but evidently they want to trouble us,” he said.

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