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Families of former militants seek to return to Pakistan in Kashmir

Hundreds of Pakistani women who accompanied her ex-husband in rogue Indian-administered Kashmir have troubled you.

Bushra Farooq attempted to do the end of the month for her and her two young children. Muzaffarabad, 30, is from Pakistan-administered Kashmir. He is 135 miles (217 kilometers) from his family, which separates the disputed territory between India and Pakistan.

In 2012, Farooq reluctantly approved the government’s rehabilitation policy to the village of Patan, in her husband’s hometown, the Baramulla district of Indian-administered Kashmir.

The Indian-run Kashmir National Congress party announced its policy in 2010 against former rebels who crossed the border in the early 1990s to train Pakistani-administered Kashmiri weapons, but then wanted to return home.

In compliance with this policy, those traveling to Pakistan between January 1989 and December 2009 and their families will be able to participate in rehabilitation programs. Many of the insurgents married in Pakistan and took their wives and children to Indian-administered Kashmir.

Farooq’s husband is one of hundreds of young people who crossed the border into Pakistan and then requested to take their families to Indian-administered Kashmir.

Muslim-majority Kashmir has divided between India and Pakistan since it became an independent state in 1947. Both countries claim the entire region as a region.

Kashmiri rebels have been fighting the Indian regime since 1989. Some estimates suggest that more than 70,000 people have died in an armed conflict.

“Stateless” women

Farooq’s dream of a better future faded when he had to face the harsh reality of living in a volatile region. The trips became almost impossible, and Farooq never saw his family again.

“It’s been nine years. They (the family) suffered there, and I suffered here. I can’t wait to see them, politics ruined my life,” Farooq told Deutsche Welle.

He found himself isolated, he said, and neither society nor the government would accept him because many called them “stateless.”

Farooq’s travel documents confiscated when he entered Nepal on the other side of the border. Many families denied passports in similar situations, he said.

Life became harder when she and her husband arrived in Indian-administered Kashmir, she said.

Farooq said, ‘My husband threatened to take my baby, he would leave me alone.

She divorced two years ago and now lives alone with her two children. He said he had sought refuge from his family in Pakistan.

Trapped on the edge

At least 350 former rebels and their Pakistani wives and children returned to Indian-administered Kashmir on the other side of the Nepalese or Bangladeshi borders under a 2010 reconstruction plan, reaching about 800, officials said.

The policy stipulates that those seeking to return must enter the country via Wagna International Airport, Atari, Salemabad, Chakndabad or New Delhi Indira Gandhi.

The families reported that they became enraged when they tried to enter the designated route and raised numerous obstacles. Many have accused of illegal entry.

For more than a decade, the former insurgent Pakistani wife has been holding protests demanding that they allowed traveling to Pakistan to reunite with their families.

Many women in Kashmir not only fight for economic independence and social acceptance, but also face daily problems dealing with their own laws.

Try to make it to the end of the month

In August 2019, the Indian government imposed a months-high military and communication blockade of the region after the abolition of its semi-autonomous status.

Bibi lives in the tanked village of Kopura and is completely isolated from her family. Bibi Daih Nilam arrived in Pakistan-administered Kashmir in 2010 after more than a month of marriage.

“We thought we might be able to live a normal life, but here we feel like we’re caged,” he told DEUTSCHE Welle.

Bibi divorced two years ago. Like Farooq, life changed drastically as soon as she and her ex-husband arrived in Indian-administered Kashmir.

A few miles from home, he “struggled with separation and loneliness in a strange place.”

Bibi, who lives with her two daughters, 9 and 11, said, “The family feud started early when we were here.”

She has been hiding her divorce from her Pakistani family for two years.

“My family just knew I was divorced,” she says. I didn’t tell them because he didn’t want them to suffer anymore,” she said, adding that he died of a heart attack three years ago when his father lost his “pain.”

“I never thought we were in such a miserable situation,” he says, adding that his only wish was to meet his family.

Karachi Heart

Sierra Javed is eager to return home to Karachi with her family – she refers to the southern Pakistani city of Karachi as the “city of lights.” He was unable to leave the village of Kumeryar near the border town of Kopura.

Javed kept pictures of the last few moments before his brother died of cancer. A few miles away, he forced to attend his brother’s funeral last week with a video call.

He told Deutsche Welle that he had been unable to visit his family in Pakistan for years because of the hostile India-Pakistan relationship.

“I lost my brother last week. I lost my father six months ago.

Javed was one of the Pakistani women who had travelled to Indian-administered Kashmir long before the introduction of the recovery policy.

In 2007, when her mother-in-law fell ill, they decided to travel to Kashmir for a month. When she arrived at her husband’s village, her husband insisted on staying.

“Since then I have been struggling to return, but the Indian authorities are not letting us go,” she says.

He added, “I have four children who have no future here.

In all frustrations, Jawad hopes that Pakistan-India relations will improve.

“You can see our predicament as a humanitarian issue,” she said.

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