Kashmir woman dies in PaK, officials facilitate shifting of body

On Wednesday, Begum developed pain in her arm and was admitted to Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan Hospital Muzaffarabad, where she lost her life in the small hours of Thursday, due to sudden cardiac arrest.

Tariq Naqash
Muzaffarbad, Publish Date: Oct 19 2017 11:06PM | Updated Date: Oct 19 2017 11:06PM
Kashmir woman dies in PaK, officials facilitate shifting of body

In a rare show of compassion and courtesy, civil and military officials from both sides of the Line of Control facilitated transfer of the body of a woman from Pakistan-administered Kashmir to the Kashmir Valley on Thursday, barely 12 hours after her death here.

Salima Begum, who was in his her early sixties, had travelled to Muzaffarabad along with her spouse Ghulam Hassan Pandit on October 2 through the Chakothi-Uri crossing point to condole the death of her brother-in-law, Khawaja Muhammad Yousuf Zargar—once a key leader of a pro-independence Kashmiri political outfit.

The couple, who resided in Sopore, the apple town of Kashmir, had planned to return to their home on Monday (October 16), but had to stay back because of the suspension of trade and travel activities in the ongoing week owing to Diwali holidays in J&K.

On Wednesday, Begum developed pain in her arm and was admitted to Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan Hospital Muzaffarabad, where she lost her life in the small hours of Thursday, due to sudden cardiac arrest.

Normally, in such cases it takes at least 24 to 48 hours to send the body back to the opposite sides due to the involvement of procedural complications. However, the transfer of Begum’s body took place within 12 hours of her demise under a special permission granted by officials from both sides, said Khawaja Amir Zargar, son of late Zargar.

“We contacted the concerned officials here for transfer of body and expected it to take place no later than Friday. But thanks to their compassion, sympathy and special interest, we were able to send back the body by 3 pm,” he said.

He expressed his gratitude to retired Brig Farooq Mir, deputy commissioner Muzaffarabad Masood-ur Rehman, Trade and Travel Authority (TATA) officials, retired colonel Muhammad Shahid and retired major Tahir Kazmi.

They contacted the concerned officials across the divide through hotline and after a positive response asked us to bring the body to Kaman Bridge at Chakothi-Uri crossing point, Amir said.

Amir and three other members of the family accompanied the coffin to the bridge, where moving scenes were witnessed when it was transferred in an ambulance from the other side.

When contacted, major retired Kazmi commented that Indian officials had reciprocated courtesy that the “Pakistani side has always extended under the true spirit of the confidence building measures.”

Begum was laid to rest in her native Chinkipora village in Kashmir, according to a report.