Foreign ministry directed to decide Indian woman's plea

Kiran Bala with her first husband Narinder Singh

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 would have to renew her visa every six months for seven years, and if there are no complaints of law or Constitutional violations, then she can become a Pakistani national, her lawyer pleaded. She had gone to attend the Baisakhi festival there as part of a Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) Sikh delegation. "I suspect she might have fallen into the hands of the ISI", said Tarsem Singh, a Sikh preacher in his village.

The family of the woman, Kiran Bala, 31, said on Thursday that they had no official communication from any quarter about her well-being and current status.

However, what is curious is that in her application for extension of the Pakistan visa, her name is typed as Amna Bibi while the signature has been done as Amina, IANS reported.

After contracting marriage, Kiran Bala wrote to the Foreign Office for extension to her visa as she is receiving "life threats". Justice Jawad Hassan disposed of the petition and directed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to decide applications of the petitioner within three days.

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"My daughter-in-law called and said she has converted to Islam and got re-married in Pakistan".

Kiran Bala's father-in-law, who suspects that she might have fallen into the hands of Pakistani spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), sought the Centre and Punjab government's intervention in the matter.

Around 1,700 Indian pilgrims had gone to Pakistan to visit Sikh shrines, including Panja Sahib Gurdwara near Lahore and Nankana Sahib-the birthplace of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak, on the occasion of Baisakhi on April 13. Her husband passed away in 2013.

"I want to live in Pakistan after marrying a Pakistani man".

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