“For How Long Shall We Protest”, Asks Pakistani Origin Brides

SRINAGAR: A group of Pakistani origin Kashmiri brides staged a protest in press colony here in Lalchowk area of Srinagar demanding formal citizenship and travel documents to visit Pakistan.

“Allow us to return to Pakistan or provide us with the needed facilities to settle along with our husbands and children with dignity in Kashmir like other people. We have no identity, travel documents, and ration cards,” said one of the protestor.

In a desperate appeal to authorities, these women said: “If we are illegal in this land, jail us and deport but don’t keep us and our families in uncertainty. Allow us to live normal lives. We are also humans,” said Safiya Mohammad Syed, adding that nobody listens to us.

A group of Pakistan origin Kashmiri brides held a protest at press colony Srinagar on Monday, December 7, 2020. KL Image by Bilal Bahadur

She said that the fate of dozens of such families hang in suspension since they have scant means of livelihood and even social acceptability.

“Every day is torture for me. I am missing my family. I have not seen my parents, siblings and relatives for many years,” said another protestor.

A group of Pakistan origin Kashmiri brides held a protest at press colony Srinagar on Monday, December 7, 2020. KL Image by Bilal Bahadur

She said that many women passed away without seeing their families, many of them could not participate in the last rites of their relatives in Pakistan.

The women had arrived in Kashmir along with their husbands after then Chief Minister Omar Abdullah announced a rehabilitation programme for surrendered militants in 2010.

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