March 2005 News

Noor To Take Ticket To Son Across LoC

15 March 2005
The Indian Express

Srinagar: Noor Begum (86) will no longer have to sneak across borders to be with her two sons. A five-hour bus ride is all that separates Noor, here, from her younger son in Treda village in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. 'Allah has finally rewarded my prayers and the tears I have shed for my two sons. I can now easily meet him and return to be buried here,' says Noor. 'There was a hole in my heart. Today, how can I express my happiness? When I am no more, the two brothers can at least share grief and happiness together. This bus is a boon for us.' Less than two years ago, Begum had climbed ridges and crossed streams to get to her son, Manzoor Ahmad Khan, a forest officer here. She was stranded in PoK for 12 years where she had been to meet her younger son, Hafizullah, a businessman in Muzaffarabad. While she was crossing over to India, she was held up at the forward post in Tangdhar. The Indian Army was moved by her story and handed her over to the police which left her with Manzoor. The Mufti government took a lenient view of the 'ailing infiltrator' and spared her the legal wrangles of crossing the LoC. She has been here since but wants to visit her younger son once before her death. 'Now, she wants to board the bus to Muzaffarabad to see her other son (Hafizullah) and come back. She has been praying for all this,' says Manzoor. 'Who would have thought the bus would ply on the road? I will avail this opportunity to meet my son. That is my last wish,' she said. 'I took the risk then because I had heard of the jangbandi (ceasefire) but today, I need to only take a bus to my son's home,' she said. Noor has not yet got the travel forms but intends to get them soon. 'I want to see how he is doing. Only once. I will have no complaints.'


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