Srinagar: Back home
and jobless, many Kashmiri militants who returned from Pakistan
following appeals from the Jammu and Kashmir government said
Monday they are in the lurch.
Dozens of locals who had gone over to Pakistan during the past 20
years to get trained in the use of weapons have returned to the
This follows the government's promised rehabilitation policy for
those who desire to return to normal lives.
Muhammad Lateef Pir, 45, who went to Pakistan in 1994, came back
this year with his wife Saira, 30, from Karachi and their
"I would earn around Rs.30,000 a month driving a taxi in Karachi.
That would support my family well. I have made a grave mistake by
returning," Pir moaned.
"I cannot drive a vehicle here because I do not have a valid
driving licence. I have no identify, neither a voter ID card nor a
state subject certificate or a ration card," he said.
"The police refuse to give me a character certificate so that I
can find a job. Everybody I approach for help declines, asking
what was I doing in Pakistan for so long," Pir added.
His wife Saira said she followed her husband who decided to return
to his roots in the valley.
"My husband gave up weapons training in Pakistan. He lived a
normal life there after marrying me. We were well settled in
Pakistan," she said.
"Now I repent our decision. I am worried about the education of my
son who is likely to suffer for no fault of his."
Eight others who had responded to the government's rehabilitation
policy came to Press Enclave on Residency Road Monday to highlight
Syed Muneer, 42, who belonged to north Kashmir's Kupwara district,
returned from Pakistan early this year.
"I decided to come back as everyone finally returns to his roots.
I did not obtain any weapons training in Pakistan but worked
honourably to earn a living. I worked in the town planning sector
and earned a respectable living," Muneer said.
"Now I am finding myself in an unenviable position. I somehow
managed to admit my child in a local school but the lack of a
proper identity of his father would remain a hanging sword over my
son's head," he said.
Although none of them wants to go back to Pakistan, they felt they
have not been given a fair deal by the state government.
"There had been lot of publicity to the rehabilitation policy but
we feel its only aim has been to leave our dear ones high and dry
after their return," said Muneer's relative.
Many army and intelligence officials here believe that the
rehabilitation policy should include those who voluntarily return
to the valley from Pakistan besides former militants who helped
security forces in the state.