Islamabad, Sept. 25: A day after Pakistan granted her citizenship, a relieved Divya Dayanandan ' now Hafza Aman ' said she might soon travel to India to visit her family now that the 'nightmare' was finally over.
'This is a moment of joy and happiness for us,' her Pakistani husband Aman Khan Hoti said over phone from Mardan, 60 km north of Islamabad.
The Pakistan interior ministry had refused to grant Divya ' the 25-year-old Keralite had met Aman while studying medicine in the Ukraine, converted to Islam and married him 'citizenship and declined to extend her entry permit beyond March this year.
Although the Pakistani Citizenship Act, 1951, says a woman holding another nationality but married to a Pakistani should be registered as a citizen of Pakistan irrespective of whether she has completed 21 years, Divya had to face several bureaucratic hassles.
'I am at a loss to understand why the ministry officials ruined our time and money for so long' It was like a nightmare,' she said, adding she was looking forward to go back home with her little baby boy.
'My mother called me last night and invited me to visit the family. It will be a great moment in my life to see my family after a long time,' she said. As to security problems, her parents had assured her they would look into them.
The couple said they were grateful to President Pervez Musharraf for ordering the concerned officials to hasten the citizenship process. Musharraf had stepped in after Hafiz Hussein Ahmad, deputy secretary general of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Ammal, intimated him of their problems.
Worried whether they were rejoicing too soon, they said police and security officials could still be seen moving around their house. They requested the government to provide them protection.
Divya said she was planning to resume practising medicine soon. 'I have offers from the hospital where I used to work earlier as well as many non-governmental organisations,' she said.