Should Wives of Kashmiri Militants Be Granted Residence Certificates To Visit Pakistan?

Pakistani spouses of Kashmiri militants who were the beneficiaries of the Indian government’s rehabilitation policy recently organised the protest in Srinagar. Kashmiri Militants spouses requested the concerned authorities to issue permanent residence certificates so that they are able to travel back to home country.

The women appealed to Indian PM Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan, that they couldn’t travel to Pakistan because the government is not providing them promised permanent residence certificates.

In 2010, the then government announced a surrender and rehabilitation policy for Jammu and Kashmir youths who had crossed the Line of Control (LoC) for arms training. The policy was for those who had renounced militancy and wanted to return home.

Asia Hassan Baba, one of the protestors: “We came with families after Omar Sahib( then J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah) had announced the policy. But, here we feel cheated and now no one is here to listen to us.”

“We were invited here and we did not intrude. At present, we don’t have a single document, through which we can travel to our homes. For the last 10 years, we haven’t seen faces of our brothers, sisters and parents in Pakistan,” She added.

“There are more than 500 women from Pakistan who are facing a difficult time in Kashmir”, she said. Another woman said that the family has been striving for a state subject for her and her children. “In 2012, we(my husband and children) returned here though Nepal. One of my close relatives recently passed away in Muzaffarabad and I couldn’t travel because I don’t have any document,” she said.

According to experts that EurAsian Times talked to stated that this is not the biggest matter of discussion between India and Pakistan and certainly not a top priority for both the governments. If relations improve between two nations, likely after 2019 elections, many matters including this one, will certainly be discussed.

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