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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Sep 2014

Kashmir girl may miss US study trip for uncle's militant links

Peerzada Ashiq , Hindustan Times  Srinagar, August 05, 2013
First Published: 15:01 IST(5/8/2013) | Last Updated: 15:27 IST(5/8/2013)

A 15-year-old girl from central Kashmir's Budgam district may miss her chance to go to the US on an exchange programme because her uncle had militant links.

Sufaira Nazir, a resident of Beerwah, 20km from Srinagar, has bagged a scholarship among 40 students selected from India to participate in an one-year long exchange programme along with 40 students from the US.

She applied for a passport last year after she was selected the programme. However, her application was annulled because of her uncle, who had links to millitancy.

Ironically, the uncle has surrendered before the state authorities long ago.

"It is a rare chance for me to visit the country and meet the people over there. Besides, it would have provided me with a golden opportunity to get the best possible education. But I am told I won't get a passport. What are my sins?" asked Nazir.

Meanwhile, chief minister Omar Abdullah's political secretary Tanvir Sadiq said there is a government decision not to annul passports of anyone having no involvement in militancy.
 
"We have made it clear that there is no reason to stop passports of anyone who has no direct involvement in any militancy," said Sadiq.

In a similar case, the passport of Mehraj ul Asrar (21), son of Bashir Ahmed, a resident of south Kashmir's Anantnag district, was held back, apparently because his father was Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front's (JKLF) general secretary from 1990 till 1999.

Asrar was all set to join a multi-national company this month after being selected in an on-campus interview last year at the valley's reputed National Institute of Technology (NIT).
 
The government, however, dispatched his passport on Friday just a day after the Hindustan Times reported the case.


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