March 2019 News
We Are Living In Hell, Get Us Out Of Here: PaK Brides Petition Modi, Khan29 March 2019
Srinagar: Scores of PaK brides travelled from far off districts of Baramulla and Kupwara on Friday to stage a protest and to petition Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan to take concrete steps to 'facilitate their return.' 'We never knew our life will become hell. The real paradise is on the other side, this part of Kashmir is a hell,' said a PaK bride, who was part of a protest at Srinagar's press enclave here. She said ever since they have returned to this part of Kashmir, pain and misery has befallen them. Another woman protestor, who identified herself as Toiba, said that she married a Kashmiri man in PaK and came to Kashmir along with her three children. 'Today situation has reached a point where I feel suffocated to an extent that at times I want to go for self immolation,' she said. 'Today, my sister is getting married in Muzaffarabad and I am not able to participate in her marriage. Earlier, my relatives died there and I couldn't even visit them.' Toiba is married to a Kashmiri man in Baramulla district. 'First, we found it very difficult to gel with the Kashmiri families (in-laws) as we couldn't speak Kashmiri. Somehow, we managed to settle down but then our husbands were denied jobs both in private and government sectors and our children were denied admissions in schools.' At least 450 families returned under the rehabilitation policy announced by the then government in 2010 that promised a monthly stipend or honorarium besides a skill development training to the youth who returned after deciding to shun gun and live a normal life. Majority of the youth who had crossed over to other side of LoC married there but returned along with their wives and children in the wake of rehabilitation or surrender policy of 2010. 'This policy was a trap,' said a group of protesting women. 'We didn't get even a single benefit mentioned in the policy. Majority of PaK brides are suffering from depression and many have tried to commit suicide.' The women made a fervent appeal to the PM Modi and the Pakistan PM Imran Khan to issue them the travel permit so that they can return to PaK. 'We don't feel safe here and we don't want to live in the hell anymore. We urge PM Modi and PM Khan to get us out of this living hell.' Many protesting women also complained that they have been divorced by their husbands and are now living in rented accommodations. 'We are homeless at present and somehow we are managing our room rent. We will keep on protesting till our main demand of facilitating our safe return to PaK is agreed upon by both the countries,' they said.