‘Wish peace and development in both parts of Kashmir’
Kupwara, Dec 3: A woman from Pakistan administered Kashmir, married to a former militant is contesting District Development Council Elections from Dragmulla Block of North Kashmir’s Kupwara district.
Sumiya Sadaf, a resident of Muzafarabad Pakistan administered Kashmir told news agency KNT that she arrived in Kashmir ten years ago, after marrying a local militant from Batargam Kupwara village who had crossed the Line of Control (LoC) for arms training.
“I am from Muzafarabad married to local from North Kashmir’s Kupwara. We both arrived here taking the Nepal route under militant rehabilitation policy,” she said.
Sadaf is not first woman from PaK who has jumped into fray. In 2018, two women from Pakistan administered Kashmir, Arifa and Dilshada married to former militants had won panchayat posts in Northern Kashmir’s Kupwara district.
“People asked me to contest the upcoming DDC Elections. Since I am associated with Self Help Group and visit and help a lot of people in Dragmulla areas, they persuaded me to fight these elections. I am hopeful of winning this election,” she said.
The election symbol of Sadaf is ‘Laptop’. There are 12 candidates in fray while Sadaf in the only woman contesting from the said Block.
I have no connection with politics. “The locals especially women virtually forced me to file nomination papers. They trust me and love me. I never feel, I am from other part of Kashmir,” she said.
In response to a question, Sadaf said that it is difficult for the government to provide jobs to everyone. “If I win, I would persuade and motivate people to become self-employed. Everyone has the ability to be an entrepreneur and here we can focus on this subject and people, particularly women can start their own ventures,” she said.
She appreciated government for the support it is offering under Umeed Scheme. Women Self Help Groups (Umeed) in Jammu and Kashmir have greatly contributed in the ‘emancipation’ of rural women. In J&K, there are approximately 4.20 lakh woman members of around 42 thousand Self Help Groups (SHGs) formed under the Ministry of Rural Development’s Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihood Mission.
“I am also a part of Self Help Group and whatever I have learnt and whatever contacts I have made; it is because of these Self Help Groups,” Sumiya Sadaf said.
Sadaf said that she wishes there should be peace and prosperity in both parts of Kashmir. “The Kashmir in Pakistan is my birth place and Indian Kashmir is the place of my husband. I love both parts and wish peace and development either side.