Pakistani woman Tahira, who married an Indian Ahmadi Muslim, Chaudhary Maqbool Ahmad, of Qadian in Gurdaspur district on December 7, 2003, has finally been issued an Indian passport.
After her marriage, she was declined the Indian visa because of bitterness in the relations between India and Pakistan over the Parliament attack in 2001. With the intervention of veteran journalist Kuldip Nayyar, the then Atal Bihari Vajpayee government issued Indian visa to Tahira, but it restricted her movement to Qadian town.
After a long struggle, she obtained Indian citizenship in April 2016. In between, she was once issued a short-term visa to visit Pakistan to attend her father’s funeral in 2009. The couple now has three children.
Her husband, a journalist with a vernacular newspaper, also expressed joy over his wife getting the Indian passport. Tahira expressed gratitude to the Indian media for supporting her cause.
She said the process to accord Indian citizenship to other women from Pakistan who are married here should be expedited.