Pakistan origin Kashmiri brides stage protest, demand travel documents

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by Syed Samreen

SRINAGAR: A group of Pakistani origin Kashmiri brides who had returned under the J&K government’s rehabilitation programme for surrendered militants on Monday staged a protest in Srinagar seeking their rights and travel documents to visit Pakistan.

A group of Pakistan origin Kashmiri brides held a protest at press colony Srinagar on Monday, June 15, 2020. KL Image by Bilal Bahadur

At least 350 women who arrived in Kashmir during the past decade along with their husbands said that the government are denying them travel documents to visit their parents in Pakistan.

Out of the 350 families that returned under this policy, around 50 women have already been either widowed or divorced and are in Kashmir without any support, they said.

“The families were told that they will be legally given the citizenship but till date, they haven’t even been provided with any travel documents as such,” said protesting women.

“We have been holding protests since last many years but nobody is bothered about our demands. We urge the government to issue us citizenship and travel documents,” said a protester. “We have suffered a lot already during past many years,” she added.

Another protestor Misbah said, “we are really distressed as we haven’t gone to see our family for years now.”

“We are tagged as ‘Nepal returnees’. We want travel documents so that we see our family, if not that, we demand the respective governments to make provisions for our deportation back to Pakistan along with our families,” she said.

She added that even their children are subjected to trouble because of this, as they can’t have their Aadhar card’s generated.

“We are mentally frustrated, some women even passed away without seeing their families. It’s no less than a torture for me. I have been here for six years and I was assured proper rehabilitation,” said another protestor Safiya.

Pakistan Origin Kashmiri Brides Desperate To Go Home

The protesting women also appealed Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi to look into this matter.

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