Pakistan

KARACHI (Web Desk) – A Pakistani mother whose son has been stuck in India for years has begged for them to be reunited after they made contact last month for the first time since 2008.


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In a story mirroring that of Geeta, the deaf-mute Indian woman who returned to Delhi this week after spending more than ten years trapped in Pakistan, Mohammad Ramazan wandered into India years ago without a passport and has been trapped there ever since.

Pakistani mother, Razia Begum displays a picture of her son, Mohammad Ramazan on a mobile phonee during an interview in Karachi on October 30, 2015.   A Pakistani mother whose son has been stuck in India for years begged on October 30 for them to be reunited after they made contact last month for the first time since 2008.  In a story mirroring that of Geeta, the deaf-mute Indian woman who returned to Delhi this week after spending more than ten years trapped in Pakistan, Mohammad Ramazan wandered into India years ago without a passport and has been trapped there ever since. Now 15, Ramazan was found by the charity Childline in Bhopal, capital of Madhya Pradesh state, two years ago and has been cared for by them ever since.  AFP PHOTO / RIZWAN TABASSUM

Around six weeks ago his mother Razia Begum, who lives in Karachi, stumbled across his story and photograph on the Internet.

Now 15, Ramazan was found by the charity Childline in Bhopal, capital of Madhya Pradesh state, two years ago and has been cared for by them ever since.

“When I heard about him, well… I cannot express in words my immense affection as a mother,” his mother told the media tearfully on Friday. “For so many years he has been far from me. I earnestly desire that he should live with me now,” she said.

Ramazan’s parents divorced in 2004, and his father took him to Bangladesh in 2008 without his mother’s knowledge, she said.

Claiming he was abused by his father and stepmother, Ramazan ran away, straying into India where he wandered from town to town, sleeping and eating at shrines and railway stations before being picked up by Childline in Bhopal.

According to Childline director Archana Sahay, Ramazan speaks regularly with his mother since they made contact a month ago, and the pair have exchanged videos and photographs.

Ramazan’s identity has been established “beyond any doubt”, Sahay said.

She said the Indian government has told the charity they are waiting for Pakistan to put in a formal request for his repatriation.

In Pakistan, the Ansar Burny Trust has requested the government’s help in bringing Ramazan home. “Only a border is in between… there should be flexibility so that the child can reunite with his mother,” the human rights organisation’s director, Shagufta Burny, said.

“When I speak to my mother, we both cry,” Ramazan said in Bhopal.

“I want to go back to my home as soon as possible… I want to be with my mother.”

“Just like Geeta came to India, I will be sent to Pakistan.”

Indian national Geeta greets media with a traditional Indian "namaste" prior her departure from the international airport in Karachi, Pakistan, Monday, Oct. 26, 2015. Geeta, who is deaf and mute, accidentally crossed the border into Pakistan from India as a child nearly 12 years ago, left for Delhi after Indian authorities issued her travel document, local media reported. (AP Photo/Shakil Adil)

The deaf-mute woman known only as Geeta has been unable to identify herself or her family since she was found by police in Lahore after wandering across one of the world’s most militarised borders from India into Pakistan more than ten years ago.

Believed to now be in her early 20s, on Monday she returned to Delhi for the first time to be reunited with what she thought was her family – only to not recognise them when they finally came face to face.

Indian officials have said she will be placed in an institution while they continue to search for her relatives.

Geeta’s case received a publicity boost in August after a Bollywood film with a similar plot became a smash hit.

“Bajrangi Bhaijaan”, featuring Indian superstars Salman Khan and Kareena Kapoor, told the story of a young Pakistani woman trapped in India.

Begum said Kabeer Khan, the film’s director, had heard of her son’s story and contacted him to see if he wanted to meet Salman Khan.

“Ramazan told him he only wants to see his mother and he would be grateful to Salman Khan if he could facilitate that,” she said.