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Jammu and Kashmir: Jailed Pakistani mother-daughter duo to be sent home finally

The decks for their repatriation have been cleared after Pakistan at last authenticating their nationality

india Updated: Jul 16, 2017 14:28 IST
Ashiq Hussain
Ashiq Hussain
Hindustan Times, Srinagar
Pakistani prisoners,Pakistan,Islamabad
Mother-and-daughter duo could not be repatriated earlier as there was no confirmation about their nationality from Pakistan authorities. (Representative image)

A Pakistani woman and her minor daughter who are languishing in Indian jails since November 2012 after her husband allegedly abandoned them in Delhi will be repatriated, with Islamabad finally authenticating their nationality.

Jammu and Kashmir high court on Saturday directed the central government to deport the mother-and-daughter duo, who had been currently lodged in Jammu’s Amphalla jail, by August 21.

Kashmir’s prominent human rights lawyer Mir Shafaqat, who has been fighting for Rubeena and her daughter’s deportation to their country, told HT that Pakistan authorities have confirmed her nationality to the union government.

“Counsel for union government Tahir Shamsi presented a communication from union external affairs ministry in the high court that bears confirmation of their nationality by Pakistan high commission,” Shafaqat said.

“I am happy that these innocent souls would finally go home. It really means a lot to me as a human being,” said the lawyer who has been fighting their case without charging any fees.

Earlier in January, media had reported about the plight of the duo, prompting Pakistan’s interior minister Chaudhry Nisar to take notice.

Rubeena’s story came to the light after Shafaqat met them accidently in 2014 during a visit to Jammu’s Kot Bhalwal Jail where they were incarcerated then.

Shafaqat said Rubeena, a resident of Musa Colony in Pakistan’s Hyderabad, was on a visit to Delhi in November 2012 for the treatment of asthma. She was accompanied by her husband and the four-month-old daughter.

Her husband disappeared with theirs passports, visas and money, leaving behind Rubeena, who was then in her late twenties, and her daughter.

Moved by her plight, some people in Delhi contributed money to arrange her visit to Wagah border to cross over to Pakistan, but authorities of the neighbouring country did not allow her journey for want of proper documents.

She then went to Jammu on the advice of some people only to be arrested by security forces at Kanachak on November 6, 2012. She was booked under section 14 of the Foreigners’ Act for travelling without proper travel documents.

On completion of her six months sentence, the authorities booked her under Public Safety Act as she could not be deported as Islamabad did not confirm her nationality.

Shafaqat filed a case in 2014 seeking her deportation. Such has been their plight that even Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar of the Jammu and Kashmir high court in December last year prodded the authorities by saying that Rubeena and her minor child “belong to some place on the planet” and they be “returned to their roots”.

First Published: Jul 16, 2017 14:28 IST