Kubra narrates ordeal of Pakistani women unable to travel back from India

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LAHORE: Several Pakistani women are stranded in India and are unable to return to their country as reportedly Indian authorities are not granting clearance to them. It is learnt that one woman Kubra Gillani, from Domail tehsil of Muzaffarabad, (AJK), married Muhammad Altaf, a resident of J&K in March 2010.

The couple remained issueless after eight years of their marriage which led to their breakup in November 2018. The Pakistani High Commission in New Delhi has issued her a new passport to facilitate her travel back to Pakistan, Kubra told The Express Tribune. The Indian government, however, is not allowing her to return.

Kubra, who works as a housekeeper, claims she has been visiting the Indian interior ministry office for several months but is not being issued clearance. Kubra has appealed to Prime Minister Imran Khan to take up the matter with the Indian government to resolve her predicament.

Pakistan’s High Commission in New Delhi has held out an assurance that it would take up the matter with Indian authorities.

Humanitarian worker Ansar Burney also said that his trust would do everything possible to bring Kubra back home.

According to Kubra, more than 200 women from Pakistan and AJK are currently stranded in different cities of India and IOK due to the Indian refusal to issue them clearance. “Three stranded Pakistani women in IOK have committed suicide over the past few months,” she claimed.

“The puppet government in Indian Occupied Kashmir had told me that I would be issued citizenship after which I would be able to travel back to AJK to see my family,” she said. “Now, they are not allowing me return to Pakistan.”

Kubra said her family, including mother and three siblings, were anxiously awaiting her return, while her father and one sister have died wishing to see her back home.

Meanwhile, Arab News has published a sad story of Saira Javed who gets emotional when she remembers her family in Pakistan; tears trickle down her face during a video conversation with her mother in Karachi.

It has been more than seven years since she last saw her relatives in Pakistan. In 2012, when she moved to Indian-administered Kashmir with her husband, Javed Ahmad, they hoped that the rehabilitation policy for former militants announced by the government at the time — led by Omar Abdullah in 2010 — would pave the way for a better life.

“We all regret that decision to come to India now,” 35-year-old Saira admits. “My husband and I were arrested when we entered Kashmir in 2012. I spent three months behind bars for entering India without valid documents, and my husband more than six months.”

She said the authorities seized all her documents, leaving her living in India effectively a stateless citizen.

“I should have been given Indian citizenship by virtue of being the wife of an Indian, but I have nothing and I want to return to Pakistan. We want the government to facilitate our return to our home country,” she added.

Last week, scores of Pakistani women, all wives of former militants, protested in the streets of Srinagar demanding the return of their passports and permission to leave India.