Return and Death of a Native
Back in Valley after partition, a Kashmir born Pakistani national dies
Srinagar, May 2: Safdar Khan, 90, came to Srinagar in March this year after 63 years, full of nostalgia for the streets where he spent his childhood and youth. He was delighted to walk again through Lal Chowk and visit Hazratbal and Chrar-I-Sharief. And perhaps unwilling to return, Khan breathed his last days before he was expected to travel back.
He was admitted into SMHS hospital fifteen days ago after his health deteriorated and finally lost the battle for his life on Saturday.
Khan along with his wife Sardar Begum, 80, had traveled for six days from Sialkot on their way to Valley. They walked across the border at Attari Punjab, boarded a train up to New Delhi and from there on accompanied by his nephew Javid Iqbal drove to Srinagar by road.
“It was his strong desire to visit the place where he spent his childhood and played in the street before Jammu massacre in 1947”, says Iqbal. “Whenever we called him he would always talk about his birth place.”
Khan was running a business at Jammu at the time of the massacre, and fled to Sialkot, Pakistan after his sister was killed in the violence.
“It was an emotional moment for him to see Magarmal Bagh, where he lived and historic Lal-Chowk after so many years,” Iqbal says. After reaching Srinagar Khan's first priority was to visit Chrari Sharief and Hazratbal. “He asked us about Tonga which was the main transport during his time”.
A teacher by profession, Khan died of multi-organ failure. “His health deteriorated some days ago and we admitted him to the hospital.” his relatives say. At SMHS he was put on life support system.
He was later laid to eternal rest at his ancestral graveyard at Batmaloo here.
His son Showkat Hayat Khan who feared his death wanted to come here but visa restrictions by Indian Embassy at Islamabad created hurdles. Even though Showkat had also applied for visa to travel with his father the Embassy didn't clear it.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 2 May 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 2 May 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 3 May 2011 00:00:00 IST
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