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Woman lodged in Bengaluru jail given Pakistan citizenship

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New Delhi, Feb 19: Pakistan has issued a citizenship certificate to a woman held in a jail in Bengaluru, paving the way for her return to the country with her four-year-old daughter, a media report said on Friday.

Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said on Thursday his ministry had issued the citizenship certificate for Sumaira, who is at a detention centre in Bengaluru after the National Database and Regulatory Authority verified her family tree, Dawn reported.

Woman lodged in Bengaluru jail given Pakistan citizenship

He said the certificate had been sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Pakistan's High Commission in New Delhi would issue a travel document to her, allowing her to return to Pakistan along with her daughter.
Her case was raised in the Senate on Monday by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Senator Irfan Siddiqui.

Sumaira married a Palakkad native named Mohammed Shihab whom she had met in Qatar.

The couple, along with two other Pakistanis, illegally came to Bengaluru via the Nepal border in September 2016 and started living in a two-bedroom house in Kumaraswamy Layout. In May 2017, the city police arrested all the Pakistanis. Sumaira was subsequently sentenced to three years in prison.

Two months later, she gave birth to a baby girl. Her husband left her when she was in custody. Since her release from prison, Sumaira has been living at a detention centre in Bengaluru with her daughter, the report said.

Meanwhile, prison authorities in Bengaluru said on Friday they have not yet received any communication from the government of India or Pakistan authorities about issuing Pakistani citizenship to Sumaira.

"There are news reports doing rounds that the said detenu has been granted Pakistani citizenship, but we have not received any official communication so far," an officer told PTI on condition of anonymity.

He added that the communication may arrive 'in due course of time'.


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