GURDASPUR: Even as the Muslim community celebrates Eid today, a Pakistani woman who married an Indian man here in 2003, is "unhappy" as she waits to be conferred Indian citizenship, 12 years and three children later.
"I am unhappy. Now I am neither a Pakistani nor an Indian national for no fault of mine but due to the government," Tahira Hazoor (33) said. A native of Faislabad, Tahira married Maqbool Ahmad (45) of Qadian town in Gurdaspur, in 2003, becoming the first woman from Pakistan to marry an Indian after the road border was re-opened between the two countries. It was closed following an attack on Indian Parliament in 2001.
She has been residing here since October 28, 2003 and now has three children, two daughters and a son. "I submitted to the government here a certificate renouncing Pakistani nationality in September 2013. But nothing has moved since," she said. However, Deputy Commissioner Abhinav Trikha said, "There must be some technical lacunae. In such (a scenario) she should come to the office for removal of discrepancies."
According to the Indian Citizenship Act government can confer citizenship on a person married to an Indian citizen if the person has resided in India for seven years before applying. Tahira had applied for Indian citizenship in the office of Deputy Commissioner Gurdaspur on March, 9, 2011.
"The Punjab government also recommended my citizenship case to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs but has so far not granted me Indian citizenship and a temporary visa for Pakistan," she said. Without citizenship she has been residing in the Qadian town though her children are allowed to move outside.
According to the Indian Citizenship Act, if a Pakistani National applies for Indian citizenship, he/she is not allowed to visit abroad after submitting the documents.
In case he/she travels abroad after submitting the documents then they have to re-apply for Indian citizenship after staying in India for a year.