Video: Indian with Pakistani passport wants to go home
Hashim was born in Kannur in 1945. His father, who served as the municipal chairman of Kannur, died in 1953.
Dubai - In 1962, Hashim joined his elder brother who migrated to Pakistan to look for a job.
By Sahim Salim
Published: Thu 31 Jan 2019, 7:37 PM
A 74-year-old expatriate, who was born Indian but migrated to Pakistan when he was a minor and acquired the country's passport, is unable to lead a retired life at his place of birth. The septuagenarian's three children are Indian citizens and so are his seven siblings and all living relatives.
"I may have a Pakistani passport, but I am an Indian by birth and studied till Grade 8 in my hometown. My late wife was an Indian and so are all my children and relatives," Hashim, who has been a UAE resident for the last 44 years, told Khaleej Times.
Hashim was born in Kannur in 1945. His father, who served as the municipal chairman of Kannur, died in 1953. After that, his elder brother P.K. Ahmed migrated to Pakistan in 1955 to look for a job to support the family.
In 1962, Hashim - who was 17 then - his six siblings and their mother joined Ahmed in Karachi as he was "finding it difficult to send the money he earned to his family".
"It was not very difficult to migrate to Pakistan then," said Hashim.
Thirteen years later, in 1975, Hashim and Ahmed came to the UAE. In 1979, Ahmed went to Pakistan and took his siblings and their mother back to India. They stayed in Kerala for seven years and got Indian citizenship, leaving only Hashim with a Pakistani passport.
"I have no family or property in Pakistan. All my siblings are in Kerala. They stay around the house I built in Kannur. My daughter also stays in India. If I am allowed to go back home, my daughter and other relatives can take care of me. Both my sons are working here in the UAE and will be able to visit me back home," Hashim said.
Marriage in Kannur
"My uncle insisted that I get married to an Indian girl so I would go home more often, and in 1979, I tied the knot with a Kannur native and brought her to the UAE," Hashim said.
Two of his children were born in India as citizens. His youngest son, Rashid, was born in the UAE and got a Pakistani passport. "About five years later, we applied for an Indian passport for him, too, and he got it."
It was difficult for the family to go back home together due to visa-related issues. However, he did visit his native place "every year or at least once in two years".
"I would send my family home every year. I would join them later as it would usually take at least three to four months to process my visa," Hashim explained. Pointing to a bundle of passports he got over the years, Hashim said with a smile: "Look at my eight Pakistani passports filled with Indian visas."
Hashim underwent a major heart surgery in Chennai in 2004. He also suffered a heart attack in the UAE in December 2017. Since he did not have a health insurance, his family ended up paying more than Dh40,000 for treatment.
In 2015, when Hashim went to Kerala, he slipped and fell, leaving two broken bones in his left leg. He had to undergo a surgery to implant metal plates. When he got back to the UAE, he felt pain in his lower leg. "Since I wasn't able to get an Indian visa on medical grounds, I went to Pakistan, where a doctor advised me to remove the metal plates. Since my doctor in India had asked me to never remove the plates, I refused." Hashim is finding it difficult to walk, but is unable to go to India as he is not able to secure a visa.
Hashim has applied for the Indian citizenship many times since 1988. However, they have all been turned down. In fact, the senior citizen has been unable to get a visa to visit his hometown for the last two and a half years.
"With my latest visa application, I had submitted all the required documents, including sponsorship certificates from my son and daughter duly certified by the Notary Public in India. But BLS (outsourced agency for Indian passport and visa services) has said that even my photos need to be attested by a gazetted officer of India. It is impossible for an Indian officer to do this without seeing me," said Hashim.
He said this was the first time he was facing an issue regarding entry visas to India. "The visa would take some months to come, but I was never denied entry previously."
Hashim has urged the Indian government to grant him a visa to visit the country for medical purposes. "I also request the government to grant me a long-term visa, which will ultimately qualify me for citizenship.
"Just recently, the Indian government granted citizenship to 400 people and their applications were just up to 10 years old. Even singer Adnan Sami was granted Indian citizenship within a few years. Mine is a 45-year-old case. I am an old, sick person, wishing to settle in India peacefully with my family."
Journey from India to Pakistan to UAE
>>1945: P.K. Hashim was born an Indian in Kannur, Kerala
>>1953: His father died, leaving the family without any financial support
>>1955: Hashim's brother, Ahmed, migrated to Pakistan in search of a livelihood
>>1962: Hashim, his six siblings and their mother migrated to Pakistan
>>1975: Hashim and Ahmed came to the UAE
>>1979: Ahmed went to Pakistan and took his siblings and mother back to India
>>1986: Hashim's siblings and mother were granted Indian citizenship
>>1988: Hashim applied for Indian citizenship, based on his marriage to an Indian citizen
>>2005: The Ministry of Home Affairs asked Hashim to resubmit the application to reflect amendments to the Citizenship Act
>>2006: The Consulate General of India in Dubai sent the application again to the authorities concerned
We will refer case to MHA: Indian consulate
When Khaleej Times reached out to the Indian Consulate in Dubai about P.K. Hashim's case, a senior official said the citizenship application procedure is governed by the rules framed under the Citizenship Act of the Government of India, "Citizenship by Registration".
"We will have to examine the applications submitted in years 1988 and 2005 and will be glad to refer the case to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Govt of India, which is the deciding authority in such cases," Neeraj Agrawal, head of chancery and consul (Press), said.