PoK woman elected sarpanch, panch in North Kashmir

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Arifa Begum, 35, a resident of Pakistan occupied Kashmir ,  has been elected unopposed as sarpanch and panch from Khumriyal area of Kupwara in the ongoing Panchayat polls in the state, a local news agency report said here today.

In 2010, she came over to this side of the Valley  with her husband Ghulam Muhammad Mir, a resident of Kupwara in North Kashmir. 

She had married Mir when he was training to be a militant in PoK. But the family returned to Kashmir as part of the  Government’s rehabilitation package.

Arifa, originally a resident of Palandari village in Muzaffarabad had submitted her nomination papers for both Panch as well as Sarpanch wards in Khumriyal-B in the frontier district. 

No candidate  contested against her, so she was declared a winner unopposed.

“I had crossed the LoC In 2001 and was in PaK until 2010 before returning home via Nepal along with his wife Arifa,” Mir said.

 Arifa has been provided adequate security as part of the government decision to facilitate the elections and encourage the candidates to contest.