Business Standard

20 years on, 75-year-old woman waits for Indian citizenship


ANI Hyderabad (Telangana) [India]
A 75-year-old Pakistani woman, named Habeeb Unissa Begum, has been allegedly waiting for over 20 years to become an official citizen of India.
"My sister Habeeb Unissa's marriage was performed in 1955 in Hyderabad, India and then her husband's brother, who was in Pakistan, took them across the border for better livelihood. They entered into Pakistan through Indo-Pak border illegally and then were staying there," Begum's brother Toufeeq Ali told ANI.
However, Habeeb Unissa soon noticed that there were no job opportunities in Pakistan and the couple was struggling to live there.
"My sister then asked her husband to leave Pakistan and return to India, during that time they could not come through the border as it was closed. Later, her husband's brother applied for the Pakistan passport of the couple and they returned to India via ship," Ali said.
"In 1987, we applied for renewal of the Pakistan passport. However, later we submitted it back to the Pakistan Embassy for cancelation and took renunciation letter from them. After that we applied for Indian citizenship and have waiting since then," he added.
Ali said he along with his sister Habeeb Unissa, has met different concerned authorities in Hyderabad, however "they are just giving us stay and not giving Indian citizenship to my sister."
"Habeeb Unissa is now 75 years old and her husband and son have expired. She is looking after her two daughters. I would like to request the government to help my sister in getting the Indian citizenship. My sister stayed in Pakistan for just eight months and for that we are struggling till now. She was born here and will die here," Ali added.

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First Published: Jun 28 2018 | 6:40 AM IST

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