Pakistani woman marries Indian, but told to leave India

By Sharat Pradhan, IANS

Lucknow : The future of a 21-year-old Pakistani woman hangs in the balance after she married an Indian in an Uttar Pradesh town but has been told to leave the country since her visa expires Friday.

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Kawalzia came to the small town of Bispohar Bazar in the eastern district of Siddharthnagar, some 250 km from here, with her mother last month on a visitor’s visa but decided to get married to her cousin Shamshad Ahmad.

However, with lethargic bureaucratic ways coming in the way of a visa extension, Kawalzia has been told by the Indian authorities to leave Bispohar Bazar latest by Monday, failing which she would be deported.

“I have been knocking at every door every since my nikah was performed with Kawalzia (June 15) but to no avail,” lamented her 24-year-old husband Shamshad, an electrician.

“Initially, I took my wife to the home ministry (in New Delhi) but we were told to either seek registration of our nikah or go for a court marriage afresh that would also require a clearance by the local intelligence unit (of the district police),” Shamshad told IANS over telephone.

“We tried getting the nikah registered but apart from running from one office to the other we did not achieve anything,” he added.

The couple then applied for a court marriage on June 30 before Siddharthnagar’s additional district magistrate, who is also the local marriage registrar. He sought an intelligence report that is still awaited.

Police told Kawalzia’s mother Naseema to leave Bispohar Bazar latest by Monday so that they could board the Samjhauta Express from New Delhi Wednesday and cross over to Pakistan well before the Friday deadline.

“How can I take my married daughter back home when her place is with her husband?” Naseema moaned over telephone from Bispohar Bazar. “I wonder why they took so much time to complete the necessary formalities.”

Shamshad is equally worried.

“If my wife is forced to go back to Pakistan, I will have to go there to fetch her. This means yet another long exercise of seeking a visa and spending a lot of money. After all, I am a man of small means,” he maintained.

Siddharthnagar police chief P.K. Srivastava said the proper procedures would have to be followed.

“We cannot help it. We must follow the entire drill and carefully verify the marriage before submitting a report. All that is bound to take time,” Srivastava told IANS.