In 1955, Hyderabad resident Habeeb Unissa Begum, now aged 75, had moved to Pakistan, only to move back to India years later. She renounced her Pakistani passport and then applied for an Indian citizenship in 1987. However, 20 years later, Habeeb Unissa is still waiting on a response from the authorities.
Habeeb Unissa had gotten married in Hyderabad, India, in 1955. Soon after her wedding, her husband’s brother, a Pakistan resident, took them across the border illegally in hopes of a better livelihood.
However, upon moving to Pakistan, the couple struggled to find a job and decided to move back to India. Only this time, the Indo-Pak border was closed and they could only cross it legally. “Her husband’s brother applied for the Pakistan passport of the couple and they returned to India via ship,” said Habeeb Unissa’s brother, Toufeeq Ali.
When she wanted to come back to India, Pakistani authorities said border is now closed so she will have to obtain a Pakistani passport. So we took the passport but later cancelled it & took renunciation letter. She is now 75 & can’t afford to pay the fines: Toufeeq Ali, Hyderabad pic.twitter.com/Q8Ogh68ILP
— ANI (@ANI) June 28, 2018
“In 1987, we applied for renewal of the Pakistan passport,” he added. “However, later we submitted it back to the Pakistan Embassy for cancellation and took a renunciation letter from them. After that we applied for Indian citizenship and have been waiting ever since,” he added.
According to her brother, they have reached out to several authorities in the city, however, all their efforts have been in vain. “I would like to request the government to help my sister in getting the Indian citizenship,” Ali said.
“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,” he added. After the death of her husband and son, Habeeb Unissa now supports her two daughters.