Pak issues passport to militant family, MEA gives clearance

Fayaz Bukhari
Srinagar, June 4: In a major relief to the militant families who returned from Pakistan to Jammu and Kashmir over the years and are living a miserable life in absence of any citizenship rights, Government of Pakistan issued passports to one of the militant families to facilitate their travel to Pakistan for which Government of India has also given its clearance.
The High Commission for Pakistan in New Delhi has issued passports to three children and wife of a militant Shafqat Ali Mir son of Abdul Kareem Mir resident of Khan Mohalla Tukpura, district Bandipora in North Kashmir so as to facilitate their travel to Pakistan.
The passports were issued to four Pakistani nationals of Abbotabad which include Mir’s wife Farhat Bibi, his daughter Areeba and two sons Akash Hamza and Hamid under passport numbers SS-527450, SS-527449, SS-527448 and SS-527451 respectively.
The High Commission for Pakistan in New Delhi while issuing passports to these four Pakistani citizens wrote to the MEA, GOI: “The esteemed Ministry is requested kindly to issue necessary instructions to the authorities concerned for endorsement of exit through Waga on priority. The MEA in its response has said: “No objection from MEA.”
The passports were issued by the Pakistan High Commission in response to the directions issued by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Bandipora. The court ordered the exit permission of the four Pakistani nationals in December last year.
The court order says: “…Farah Bibi is sick and has three minor children to take care. She may be given exit permission on humanitarian basis through Waga to join her parents in Pakistan.”
Shafaqat Ahmad Mir alias Asgar Ali son of a retired BSF man Abdul Karim Mir of Turakpora, Bandipora went Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) in April 1994 for arms training. He married Farhat Bibi in Pakistan and has three children- Areeba, 7, Hamid, 11 and Akash Hamza, 15. His wife and three children are Pakistani citizens and they claimed that they have lost their passports.
The State Government over the years has allowed over 300 family members of militants to cross illegally into India from Pakistan via Nepal border since 2010 after the announcement of surrender policy for the militants by Omar Abdullah Government. These family members are living in miserable conditions in the State as they were not provided any citizenship rights in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Government says that none of these militants have come through designated routes of Chakan-Da-Bagh in Poonch district, Chakothi-Uri in Kashmir, Attari border in Wagah sector of Punjab’s Amritsar district and Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi as per Rehabilitation policy of the State Government that was later approved by the Union Government. But Government at the same time allowed them to enter India illegally.
As per the Government records, around 4000 militants are still living in Pakistan and Government has received 1171 application on behalf of these militants for their return under Rehabilitation policy and it has cleared 422 cases for their return through four designated routes.

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