From Our Correspondent
AN interesting debate is going on amongst the legal experts on the question of citizenship of four children that an ultra brought with him, alongwith his wife, before surrendering his arms to the security forces.
Mir Mohammad of Poonch had crossed over to PoK in early 1991 to acquire arms training and join the ranks of terrorists. After his training in a camp in Pakistan he was asked to work for Tahrik-e-Jehad-e-Islami (TEJI).
In 1993, a young wife of a labourer and named Akhtar Bi mysteriously deserted her labourer-husband and crossed over to PoK, where she came in contact with Mir Mohammad of Poonch town.
In PoK both of them had an affair and gave birth to four children, which included two sons and two daughters.
Now when Mir Mohammad, who was an activist of TEJI, has surrendered alongwith arms and Rs 2,350 in Pakistani currency in addition to his better-half and four children, the question being raised is what would be the citizenship of the four children who were born in Pakistan.
According to legal experts, since the children were conceived and were born in Pakistan, the four children cannot be citizens of India under the provisions of the Constitution.
It may be recalled that about a decade back another young woman named Shehnaz had crossed over to this side of the LoC and was arrested and jailed for illegal entry into India. In Poonch jail, she had an affair with the Jail warden and conceived. She was shifted to Central Jail, Jammu where she gave birth to a girl child. On completion of her term in the jail, the Pakistani authorities declined to accept the girl child saying that she was not a Pakistani citizen, though they were prepared to take back Shehnaz.
After a lengthy legal battle in the courts, ultimately the Human Rights Commission and some similar bodies of Pakistan struggled hard to persuade the Pakistan Government to accept the girl child as a special case.