Wives Of Former Militants From PAK Demand Travel Documents

15 April 2014
Kashmir Times
Syed Yasir

Srinagar: The wives of former militants who returned to Kashmir under rehabilitation policy today held a protest demonstration here against the state government for not fulfilling the promises made by them under rehabilitation policy. Scores of wives of the former militants with their children assembled at Press Enclave here and held protest demonstration against yesterday's incident in which Saira Bano of Pakistan Administered Kashmir (PAK), wife of Abdul Majeed Wani of Bandipora, who set herself ablaze few days ago, succumbed to her injuries. They alleged that state and central government made a mockery of the rehabilitation policy and they were deceived by them. 'We are only demanding that travel documents should be given to them so that we would again meet with our near and dear ones,' said Amina Begam of Muzaffarabad in PAK. The protesters also said that they are been punished with no fault. 'We are living in a pathetic condition. With each passing day our troubles are increasing, the rehabilitation policy has proved a damp squib for us,' they said. The wives of the former militants also said that they reached Kashmir under extreme difficulty with their children and husbands but the state and central government are not paying heed to their repeated pleas and they are being denied travel documents. 'It would be better for the Indian government to lodge us in jails rather than disallowing us to visit our parents and relatives. The state government invited our husbands to return. We came with them along with our children. Please give us permit to visit our relatives in Pakistan. I tried to meet the Chief Minister but was send back from his gate,' said a protester. The protesters threatened to start a hunger strike in case the state government does not fulfill the promises made by them with the former militants and their families. 'We are not demanding any financial assistance from state government. We only demand from Omar Abdullah to fulfill the promise, made by him in assembly while announcing the rehabilitation policy,' said Sara, other women from Pakistan. She also said that they are traumatised here, 'our children are traumatised. Their future is at stake. We have no information about our parents in Pakistan. We are requesting government of India to give us travel documents, for God's sake!' she said. These woman protestors said that they have no identity, no ration cards, no schools agree to admit their children. The protests occurred a day after a Pakistani woman Saira Bhat, 30, set herself on fire in Naidkhai area of north Kashmir's Bandipora district.