Pakistan thanks India after boy is returned to mother

Commenting on India’s gesture in returning a boy of 5 to his mother, Abdul Basit, Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India, tweeted, “We are thankful to Indian authorities for their cooperation in this humanitarian matter.” Ifthikar Ahmed’s reunion comes across as a silver-lining in the otherwise sore India-Pakistan relations.   | Photo Credit: V.V. Krishnan

Pakistan has sent a rare message of thanks to arch-rival India after a five-year-old boy, who was taken to India by his father nearly a year ago was reunited with his Pakistani mother.

Ifthikar Ahmed was handed over to Rohina Kiani by border officials in the town of Wagah in Punjab province on Saturday evening following a long legal battle seeking his return from his father, Gulzar Ahmad Tantray.

The case created a media stir and shone a spotlight on the two countries’ decades-long dispute over divided Kashmir, over which they have fought two full-scale wars.

She is happy

Ms. Kiani, a resident of the Pakistani-controlled part of the territory, told AFP on Sunday she was overwhelmed with happiness and prepared to forgive her estranged husband, who is from Kashmir.

“I’m extremely happy and unable to express my joy. I pardon my husband and hope he will also join us soon to live with us here in Pakistan,” she told AFP.

Mr. Tantray was among thousands who crossed the de facto border into Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir while an insurgency was at its peak in the Indian sector. He later married Ms. Kiani, but wanted the family to return to his home village following the birth of their son. When Ms. Kiani refused, Mr. Tantray absconded with the child last March.

Ms. Kiani pursued a custody case in an Indian court through the Pakistani embassy in New Delhi, and the court ruled in her favour.

Basit tweets thanks

“We are thankful to Indian authorities for their cooperation in this humanitarian matter,” Pakistan’s High Commissioner Abdul Basit tweeted.

Ms. Kiani also thanked both governments, and urged them to come together to find a lasting solution to the Kashmir conflict.

“Thousands of people are suffering from grief and sorrow because of this dispute. The Kashmir issue must be solved to end problems of people living on both sides of Kashmir,”\ she said.

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Printable version | Oct 25, 2020 8:55:37 AM |

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