Kupwara: Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) women married to former militants of this side of Kashmir on Friday staged a protest in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district and demanded travel documents so that they can return to another side of the Line of Control (LoC) to meet their families.
Nearly 75 women from PaK are married to former Kashmiri militants who gave up arms and arrived back in the Valley under a government rehabilitation policy for surrendered militants in the year 2010.
The protesting Kashmiri wives assembled at the Srinagar-Kupwara highway near Deputy Commissioner’s (DC) complex, holding placards that read, “We want travel documents” and “We want justice”.
Talking to KNO, the protesting PaK brides said that after they came to this side of the LoC under a government-run rehabilitation policy, nothing was done to facilitate them neither they were provided travel documents to visit their families across the LoC.
“Not a single family has been rehabilitated so far by the government. All the tall claims made that time have fallen short, forcing all us to face problems very often”, they said.
The protesting PaK brides said that so far the government has not initiated any process regarding the rehabilitation policy, as no travel document was awarded to any of the families.
“We have families living on the other side of the LoC including parents but with this silence of the government all of us feel caged all the time.”
Questioning the silence of the government, the protesting women said that due to the callous attitude and the suffocating atmosphere created by the authorities, one of them lost mental balance and roams in the markets all the time. “This shows how much stress and suffocation we are facing.”
They also questioned the participation of them who is contesting the ongoing District Development Council (DDC) elections, arguing if they are allowed to contest the DDC and Panchayat elections and serve as sarpanchs and panchs, why the government cannot issue travel documents to them.
Requesting the governments of India and Pakistan to facilitate their return, the protesting women said that several Pakistani divorced and widows are living in Kashmir and it is difficult for them to survive.
They also said that if the Indian government cannot give them citizenship, it must deport them to PaK at the earliest. (KNO)
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