Why I stayed deportation of Pakistanis

When I was a Judge in Allahabad High Court ( 1991-2004 ) I heard dozens of cases of Pakistanis visiting India who were served deportation orders for deporting them to Pakistan, but wanted to stay in India. They filed writ petitions against these orders, which came up before me. In all such cases I passed this order “ Until further orders the petitioner will not be deported from India “.

These Pakistanis were old people who had migrated from UP in India to Pakistan after Partition of 1947. When they migrated they were young people, who left India either because of religious feelings, or because of a sense of insecurity. They had left behind many relatives and friends in India, and now that they were old and passions had subsided they wanted to spend the evening of their lives in the place they had grown up in, and with their relatives and friends in India.

In view of the hostile relations between India and Pakistan it is difficult for Pakistanis to get an Indian visa. And even when granted, it is usually for a very short term of about one month, and all kinds of restrictions are usually placed e.g. that one can visit only one city, report to the nearest police station every week, etc.

So these petitioners who appeared before me had come on a one month visa for visiting some city in UP like Allahabad, Kanpur, Agra, etc. When that one month period was over, and still they did not leave, they were served deportation orders, which they challenged.

As I mentioned above, I stayed all such deportation notices till further orders.

Now the Allahabad High Court has a heavy pendency of cases ( about 10 lacs ). Consequently, a case heard on a certain day usually comes up for the next hearing after 4-5 years. So the result of my orders in these cases was that by judicial orders I converted one month visas into 4-5 years visas. Why did I do this ? Now that the matter is old I can reveal the real reason.

I regard, and have always regarded, India and Pakistan as one country. I regard Partition of 1947 as a a British swindle, and I believe that one day Pakistan will reunite with India, from which it has only been temporarily separated. We share the same culture, and were one since Mughal times.

So I regard all Pakistanis as Indians. I regarded these petitioners as Indians, so how can an Indian be deported from India ?

Of course I did not say this in my orders, but this was the real reason.

The great Urdu poet Munawwar Rana has written a long poem called ‘Muhajirnama’ about the anguish and nostalgia of many muhajirs who had migrated from India to Pakistan at the time of partition, and who remember the land where they were born and grew up. In particular, I remember the lines in that poem relating to my home town Allahabad ( where I lived for 58 out of my 77 years ) :

“ Gale milti hui nadiyaan, gale milte hue mausam

  Allahabad ka kaisa nazaara chhod aaye hain

  Kal ek amrood waale se kehna pad gaya mujhko

  Jahaan se aaye hain is phal ki bagiya chhod aaye hain

  Kuch der tak to woh takta raha mujhe, phir bola

  Woh sangam ka ilaaqa chhut gaya, ya chhod aaye hain ?

  Abhi hum sonch mein gum the ki usse kya kaha jaaye

  Hamaare aansuon ne raaz khola chhod aaye hain “

I also remember the lines relating to Lucknow, where I was born :

“ Moharram mein hamaara Lucknow Iran lagta tha

  Madad maula Husainabad rota chhod aaye hain “

Or these lines :

 “ Bhateejee ab saleeqe se dupatta odhti hogi

   Wahi jisko jhoole mein humakta chhod aaye hain “

It must have been these feelings which made these petitioners stay over after expiry of their one month visa.



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