Give citizenship or deport us: Pak wives of ex-J&K militants

amit shah, pm narendra modi, kashmir, line of control, united nations, pakistan

Pakistani wives of former militants from Kashmir, who returned from across the Line of Control under a rehabilitation scheme, reiterated their demand that they either be granted citizenship or deported.

They appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and home minister Amit Shah to intervene immediately and resolve the humanitarian crisis involving 377 women along with 864 family members. They also appealed to women rights bodies across the world to take cognisance of their plight and play a role in resolving the issue.

“We appeal to Narendra Modi and Amit Shah to intervene in our matter and initiate a process to resolve our issue. They can understand our pain as they also have a family,” said Misba Mushtaq, who lives in Handwara of northern Kashmir.

She said their struggle for the past several years is going in vain and nobody is paying heed to this crisis. “The United Nations and women rights organisations are silent on our plight despite being women. We are suffering here,” said Mushtaq, who demanded “immediate deportation or granting of citizenship”.

She further said that living “an anonymous and identity-less” life is not only difficult but dangerous in a place like Kashmir. “Incidents like the Hyderpora encounter have sent shivers down our spine. If something happens to us or our children, we have nobody to even claim our bodies,” she wailed.

In the past decade, some of these women have died, committed suicide and a few were divorced as well, who are now managing to survive on their own, with no relatives here.

“I lost my mother three weeks back and she suffered there because of me. I couldn’t even see her face. I lost my parents and siblings during these years and couldn’t even see their faces one last time,” said Naureen, who lives in Baramulla in northern Kashmir. Earlier this year they tried to take out a protest march towards the LoC in Baramulla district but were disallowed and detained by the police. “Until we come on roads with our children or an incident like Hyderpora happens to us, it seems nobody will bother.”

More than 370 women from across the LoC and Pakistan – who had married Kashmiri men when the latter had crossed the border for arms training in 1990s and early 2000s – came to the Valley between 2010 and 2016.

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