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Monday, 23 September, 2002, 15:08 GMT 16:08 UK
Pakistani woman escapes deportation
Ms Murad with her son
Tasleem Murad is free to stay 'til 2003

Indian authorities have extended a Pakistani woman's visa until next year cancelling deportation orders issued by the State Government of Andhra Pradesh.

The Central Government delivered the decision on Monday at the Andhra Pradesh High Court during a hearing on extending Ms Tasleem Murad's visa.

Ms Murad with her son
Tasleem Murad and her Indian born son

The move is a major victory for Ms Murad who has been fighting against her deportation orders since her visa expired in June this year.

The authorities in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad rejected her request as her husband Mohammed Jawed Azmath -along with his friend Gul Mohammed Shah - was detained in America in connection with the 11 September attacks.

The Indian Government was unwilling to let Ms Murad stay in the country on grounds of national security.

But later, when her husband was cleared by the FBI of connections with the World Trade Centre attacks, the Indian courts re-considered Ms Murads visa application.

Cross-Border marriages

Tasleem and her first cousin Azmath married in March last year.

She had arrived in Hyderabad a week prior to the marriage.

Marriages between Indians and Pakistanis are common in families divided during India's partition and creation of Pakistan in 1947.

Immigration experts say there is a convention under which a Pakistani national marrying an Indian is granted permission to stay in India.

But in Tasleem's case, the arrest of Azmath in connection with the 11 September attacks complicated her request for an extension forcing her to challenge it in court.

She had suffered a major set back early August when the High Court's rejected her petition against deportation saying her rights as a foreign citizen were limited.

However the Chief Justice who granted the stay said that as a person married to an Indian citizen, and mother of an Indian baby Tasleem had a right to stay in the country.

See also:

15 Aug 02 | South Asia
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