A woman from Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) has been elected unopposed as Sarpanch and Panch in Khumriyal area of north Kashmir's frontier Kupwara district.
Arifa Begum, 35, had come to this part of Kashmir along with her husband Ghulam Mohammad Mir via Nepal in 2010. Arifa, 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.
“There were no nominations against her and as such she has been declared elected unopposed for both Panch and Sarpanch wards,” an official said.
Arifa’s husband Ghulam Mohammad Mir said he crossed over the LoC in 2001 and remained there till 2010 before returning home via Nepal along with his wife Arifa.
"During my days in Pakistan to earn the livelihood, I married Arifa,” he said.
A security officer said Mir had exfiltrated in 2001 for arms training and had returned in 2010 and later surrendered.
“Arifa has been provided adequate security as part of the government decision to secure all the candidates contesting Panchayati elections in the state,” he added. (GNS)