Saira Javaid, originally a resident of Karachi, Pakistan married a former Kashmiri militant in the year 2000, while he was in Pakistan. Saira and her husband returned to Kashmir under a rehabilitation scheme of the Government of India introduced in 2010.
According to Saira, there are more than 150 Pakistani women who are denied travel documents and have not been able to visit their families in Pakistan.
If this is how peace looks like, we don’t want this peace, government has a double standard – says Saira.
Saira now leads a campaign for the issuance of passports for Pakistani wives and has held multiple demonstrations since November. Instead of issuing travel documents to these women, the government has restricted their movement. Many of these women are divorced, but have not informed their families back in Pakistan as they are unable to reunite with them. Left alone in Kashmir, their struggles abound.
We appeal to the authorities to send us back to Pakistan if they are unable to give us passport and other basic rights – says Saira.
Saira has setup a boutique and tailoring workshop where she has employed five Pakistani wives. Saira continues to lead the movement for her rights to travel.