Kashmiri students, families barred by India from visiting Pakistan

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Srinagar

Protest broke out at the Wagah border on the Indian side after dozens of Kashmiris, including students and travelers, were barred by the Indian authorities from visiting Pakistan despite possessing all travel and other legal documents.

Hundreds of people, including Kashmiris, had converged near the Wagah on Tuesday to cross over to Pakistan on visa.

However, dozens of Kashmiris, including students, travellers and elderly who were scheduled to visit to study or meet their relatives in Pakistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir were stopped and disallowed by the Indian authorities from crossing over.

The travelers held demonstration against the action of the Indian authorities.
“I had to visit my sister who is currently pursuing MBBS in Pakistan.

However, when I reached the border Wednesday morning, we were told that Kashmiris can’t be allowed to go to Pakistan,” Hamnah Parvez, a protester said.

“Another family stranded with me has a daughter who has to appear in exams. If she can’t make it soon, she will have to drop a year,” she added.

A medical student wishing not to be named said that the Indian officials at the Wagah border were continuously changing their statements causing distress among the Kashmiris.

“They told us that the procedure has changed and that we have to bring permission from Indian Home Ministry. We don’t know what the officials are up to,” he said.

He said that the Pakistani embassy had confirmed to the travellers to allow them enter Pakistan on March 17 through Wagah border.

“We have proper visa and all the documents yet the Indian authorities are holding us back. They have allowed all the non-Kashmiris, but evidently they want to trouble the Kashmiris,” he added.—KMS

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