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HindustanTimes Thu,31 Jul 2014

Valley girl might miss US tour due to uncle's militant links

Peerzada Ashiq, Hindustan Times  Srinagar , August 05, 2013
First Published: 20:21 IST(5/8/2013) | Last Updated: 21:43 IST(5/8/2013)

After the passport of a 21-year-old engineering student was held back, it is now a 15-year-old girl of central Kashmir's Budgam district, who might miss a US programme because her uncle had militant links.

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Sufaira Nazir from Beerwah had applied for passport last year after she was selected for a US exchange programme.

"It is a rare chance for me to visit the US and meet people over there. Besides, it would have provided me a chance to get education in the best country. But I have been told that I won't get passport. What is my sin?" said Nazir, a resident of Beerwah in central Kashmir's Budgam district, 20 km from Srinagar.

Nazir has bagged scholarship along with 40 students selected from India to participate in yearlong exchange programme along with 40 students from the US.

However, the reason behind her not being able to make it to the US is her uncle's connection to militancy. Ironically, her uncle has surrendered before the state authorities long ago.

Chief minister Omar Abdullah's political secretary Tanvir Sadiq said there is a government decision not to annul passport of anyone having no involvement in militancy.

"We have made it clear that there is no reason to hold back passport of anyone whose has no direct involvement in 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 general secretary of separatist Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) from 1990 till 1999. Asrar had to join a multi-national company this month after he was selected during an on-campus placement last year at the Valley's reputed National Institute of Technology (NIT).

The government, however, dispatched his passport on Friday, a day after the Hindustan Times reported the matter.

She will get passport: CM

Chief minister Omar Abdullah has made it clear that 15-year-old Sufaira Nazir will get passport to fly to the US to attend a yearlong exchange programme.

"Needless to say she will not be denied a passport because of her uncle's past. All such pending cases of previous denials are being cleared," Omar wrote on the micro-blogging site.

"I have asked CID to look in to the passport case of Sufaira. Will revert with the facts once I have them," Omar added.

Sufaira stays in an orphanage in Budgam and had become an inspiration for the entire orphanage after getting the scholarship.


 


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