'Disappeared' appears in PoK, invites parents for marriage
22 August 2004
The Daily Excelsior
Jammu: Nailing the propaganda unleashed on alleged disappearances to malign the security forces, parents of a disappeared person have found to their extreme happiness that their ‘disappeared’ son is getting married in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK). The happy parents of a sleepy village of tehsil Kulgam could not have asked for more when they opened a letter from Muzaffarabad which came out to be of their lost son. The missing son Javid Ahmad Bhat has informed them of his welfare through this letter. ‘Disappeared’ in July 1998, Javid is now working as a salesman in kiryana store in Muzaffarabad. There was something more in store for the tormented parents. Their son is getting married in PoK and he has invited his father and mother to come and bless him on the auspicious occasion. The family is now busy in seeking passports to visit PoK to participate in the marriage of their ‘disappeared’ son. This is not the only case. In fact, information received by some of the parents of so called disappeared sons, revealed that their ‘dear ones’ who had ex-filtrated for arms training, have been traced out in PoK through different contacts. Dr. Zulfikar Hussain Kathu of Tangmarg who had crossed over to PoK in 1995 is found to have been settled in Bagh district of PoK. Another ‘missing’ person, Showkat Ahmad Ganai of Pattan has been traced out in Muzaffarabad. He is working in a medical agency to make both ends to meet. Similarly, Bashir Ahmad Shagoo of Umar Colony, Baramulla, PaK trained terrorist, and his brother Mohammad Ramzan have also been found in PoK. They have settled there. Bashir had ex- filtrated in 1993 and Ramzan in 1990. Relations of these ‘disappeared’ persons are now obtaining passports to visit their ‘dear ones’. The mystery of disappeared persons has taken another turn. A number of them have started returning to their homes. Recently, three of such ‘disappeared’ persons have returned to the State via Nepal and surrendered before the local police with a desire to call a day as far as militancy is concerned. They have been identified as Rouf Ahmad Dar of Batmaloo Srinagar, Shabir Ahmad Hakim of Naseerabad, Sopore and Shabeer Ahmad Paswal of Batpora Haihama, Kupwara. All of them had crossed over to PoK for undertaking arms training in the name of ‘Jehad’. Shabeer went in November 2001 to work for Al-Jehad. Affiliated to Hizb-ul-Mujahideen and later joined Hizbulla, Rouf Ahmad was in Pakistan since 1990 while Shabir crossed over to PoK in 1993 and joined Hizb-ul-Mujahideen. ‘This proves beyond doubt that lies have no legs to stand, observed a police officer when asked for comments for this development. Commenting on this revelation, another senior police officer said that ‘it vindicated the government’s claim that most of the such ‘disappeared’ persons have been either taken across the border for training or joined militancy ranks, may be without knowledge of their parents’. A spokesman of the Government has said that this issue has been given much hype by Human Rights activists who are out to pin down the Government in general and army, para-military forces and police in particular to malign their image on the issue of disappearances. He said that in May last, the J&K Police had investigated all the 121 cases of persons claimed to have been disappeared recently by APDP, and found at least 39 of them present in their respective homes. Twenty-one disappeared were found to have joined militant ranks and 10 other killed in militancy operations. Many other might have been abducted by the militants and forced to follow their diktats.