“Have family on other side of border”: PaK wives of ex-militants stage protest

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Srinagar : The Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) origin women, married to former militants of this side of Kashmir, Friday staged a protest in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district and demanded travel documents to return to other side of LoC to meet their families.

Nearly 75 women from PaK are married to Kashmiri men, who gave up the arms and decided to live a normal life after arriving back in the valley under a government rehabilitation policy for surrendered militants in year 2010.

The protesting Kashmiri wives assembled at the Srinagar-Kupwara highway near Deputy Commissioners (DC) complex holding the placards that read, “We want travel documents”, and “We want justice.”

Talking to the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), the protesting PaK wives of former militants said that after coming to this side of the LoC under a government-run rehabilitation policy nothing was done to facilitate them neither the travel documents were provided to visit the families living another side of the border.

They said that after arriving in the valley under the government’s rehabilitation policy the authorities by far have failed to rehabilitate any of the family forced to face major problems.

“Not a single family has been rehabilitated so far by the government and all the tall claims made that time have fallen short forcing all the wives to face problems very often”, they said.

The protesting women said that so far the government has not initiated any process regarding the rehabilitation policy since no travel document neither passport nor any other related document is awarded to any of the family.

The protesters claimed: “We have a family living on another side of the border including the parents but with this silence of the government all the women here feel caged all the time.”

Questioning the silence of the government, the protesting Pakistani origin wives said that due to the callous attitude and the suffocating atmosphere created by the authorities’ one of the women lost mental balance and is roaming in the market all the time. “This shows how much stress and suffocation we are facing,” they said.

They also questioned the participation of PaK women married to a local man contesting the ongoing District Development Council (DDC) elections and said that if women among them are allowed to contest the DDC and Panchayat elections and serve as Sarpanchs and Panchs why the Government Issue travel documents to them can’t.

Requesting both the governments to facilitate their return, the protesting women said that several Pakistani divorced and widows are living in Kashmir and it’s difficult for them to survive.

They also said that if the government can’t facilitate all the Pakistani origin Kashmir wives with citizenship then the Indian government must deport all of them at the earliest—(KNO)

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