From Pakistan to India, she waited to vote from 16 years

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The 16-year wait to cast her vote in India’s general election is almost over and Tahira Maqbool, who came from Pakistan in 2003 when she got married to an Indian citizen, is counting each day.

The 37-year-old will exercise her right to franchise in the 2019 Lok Sabha from the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha constituency, which goes to the polls on May 19.

“This is my right, I will definitely cast my vote for the candidate who is capable of taking India to greater heights,” she said.

“I got an Indian visa after almost eight months and it was later extended 13 times in 13 years. It was a big challenge as I had to follow many restrictions, including limited access to cities and taking permission to go up to Amritsar,” the mother of three said.

“Finally, the time has come. After 16 years of waiting, I will go to a polling station with my wife to vote in the world’s biggest election,” said Maqbool.

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