Pakistan Origin Kashmiri Brides Stage Protest, Demand Rights

by Shakir Ashraf

SRINAGAR: Scores of Pakistani origin Kashmiri brides on Friday staged a protest outside Deputy Commissioner Kupwara’s office demanding travel documents for them to visit Pakistan.

A group of Pakistan origin Kashmiri brides held a protest at Kupwara on Friday, December 4, 2020. KL Image by Hilal Shah

The protesting women alleged that the government was “deliberately “denying them travel documents to visit Pakistan.

“We are neither given travel documents nor are we accepted as citizens here,” said Sairah, a Pakistani origin Kashmiri bride.

“In the last 10 years, we have not been able to meet our families. Some of us lost our parents but still, we weren’t allowed to go to Pakistan,” she said, adding that government of India should either give them citizenship or deport them back to Pakistan

“This is not a new protest. This issue of 400 Kashmiri brides of Pakistani origin has been lingering for a long time.”

Another protesting woman alleged that if they are “illegal” immigrants then how come one woman among them was allowed to contest the ongoing District Development Council elections.

“Somia Sadaf is also a Pakistani origin Kashmiri bride like us. If we are not citizens of India then how is someone from us allowed to participate in these elections,” the protesting woman said.

She said if Somia Sadaf has been given the right to contest elections then why are they being denied their rights.

“What is our fault? We aren’t against any individual but the government of India and Pakistan should resolve our issue,” she said.

A protesting woman said that they had come to Kashmir under the surrender and rehabilitation policy during the National Conference-Congress government.

“Since then we have only been suffering. Some of us are under severe depression. We are taking medicines.”

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