Pakistan court directs Interior Ministry to decide Indian Sikh woman’s fate

Islamabad:The Lahore High Court directed Pakistan’s Interior Ministry on Saturday to decide within 30 days the fate of Indian Sikh woman pilgrim who converted to Islam, married a Lahore-based man and moved the court for citizenship and visa extension.

Kiran Bala, a mother of three children from Punjab’s Hoshiarpur district, had also sent an application to Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry. The High Court, while extending her visa by 30 days, directed the Interior Ministry to decide whether she was eligible for the six-month extension, the Express Tribune reported.

Kiran Bala went to Pakistan on a pilgrimage as part of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) delegation on April 12 and reportedly went missing on April 16. She went to Pakistan on her Indian passport with a visa valid till April 21.

But later, she reportedly embraced Islam and married a Pakistani national Muhammed Azam. Her family alleged that she may have fallen into the hands of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence and forced to convert and remarry.

The family said they had no official communication from any quarter about her well-being and current status.

In her application for extension of the Pakistan visa, her name was mentioned as Amna Bibi while the signature was done as Amina. She applied for extension of the visa, citing “threats of assassination” to her life in India, before Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry, reports said.

According to Pakistani law, Kiran Bala can stay in Pakistan for a month, and if granted the six-month extension, she could be eligible for attaining citizenship.