She lived a dream for 66 years
Zahida Begum Loses Hope To Meet Her Sister Across LoC
Jammu, May 10: For last 66 years septuagenarian Zahida Begum, resident of old Jammu city’s Mastgarh locality is living a dream – to reunite with her sister living in the other part of the State. Her happiness knew no bounds when India and Pakistan decided to open the LoC points at Chake-de-Bagh in Poonch and Kamman post in Uri to facilitate reunion of the divided families living on other side of LoC.
But the destiny never favoured the long driven wish of Zahida Begum as over all these years her journey plans met with failure due to one or other reason- the major being delay in securing the travel documents and completing other formalities.
In 2011, she completed all formalities and even secured a passport. She was about to leave for Delhi to apply for visa at Pakistan High Commission, when she lost her passport soon after boarding a bus at Jammu Bus stand.
Recalling the fateful day of June, 21, 2011, Zahida Begum said that she was at Jammu Bus stand and scheduled to take the bus. “At that time I was very keen to meet my sister and her family after a gap of over 60 years. I placed my bag on a rack of the bus and went to fetch water. On my return, I was shocked to find my bag containing passport, money, bank passbook and other documents missing. In a state of total helplessness, I searched it here and there but all in vain,” she said.
“I kept weeping for hours together as my dream was totally shattered, but my son consoled me that within few days we will get new passport. We lodged a complaint at Peer Mitha Police Station and returned home” she said, adding that was very sad day of her life.
She further said that for the last 10 months, she was moving from pillar to post for issuance of a fresh passport. “But every time I return empty handed . I had applied for a new passport. The same police and security agencies which had cleared my credentials thrice, are now delaying to provide security clearance by raising certain objections every time. I am aging now. How my visit to Pakistan is threat for my country” she questioned.
She further alleged that the investigating agencies were demanding money to get security clearance from her. “I had already given six thousand rupees to many security persons, who assure me to provide passport within few days, but all in vain” she alleged.
A security personnel, she says, had asked her that her son is in Pakistan so the security agencies are raising objections. “I made it clear to them that my son went to Pakistan more than 27 years back. Now he has settled in Saudi Arabia after shifting from Pakistan for professional work. I want to ask these security personnel that if my son was the problem then why these same security agencies had given security clearance to me thrice in past,” she said.
She further said that some intelligence agencies officials had also helped her and advised her to approach the higher authorities instead of moving in the offices of lower rank officials.
In a choked voice, Zahida Begum said that the civil secretariat has also shifted to Srinagar and now the procedure would restart only after opening of the secretariat. “How I will go to Srinagar to meet the higher ups, who are now camped in the Valley? I am a poor lady and don’t have money to afford stay in Srinagar for getting security clearance” she lamented.
“I think that I will never be able to meet my sister,” she said and broke down.
“I appeal the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah to help me in getting passport and clearance of other formalities,” she said.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 10 May 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 10 May 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 11 May 2012 00:00:00 IST
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