PoK visitors return with fond memories
6 December 2005
Poonch: The first batch of visitors to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) returned on Monday with fond memories. The families appealed to India and Pakistan to demolish the barriers dividing the people. On October 29, both countries decided to open five points along the Line of Control to facilitate the movement of civilians across the border. For Mohammad Aslam (45), the visit was special, as he was able to keep his vow to his wife that he would get information about their 19- year-old son Adil, missing for two years. The boy had left home without informing his family on April 19, 2003 after failing in the Higher Secondary Examination. Aslam and his wife tried in vain to trace him. 'We had almost given up hope of seeing Adil again. There was some vague information that he was in PoK. Finally, I was able to locate him with the help of my brother during my 15-day stay in PoK.' Adil was living in Kotli area. He had married a local woman. He is unlikely to return for fear of being jailed, Aslam said. Under the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution, travel across the LoC without permission is punishable under the Ingress and Egress Act. Javed Iqbal (40) and his wife Gulrez also returned home after meeting their relatives in PoK. Javed said: 'My wife's brothers and sisters too live across the LoC. We met numerous relatives in the last 15 days and these memories would always remain part of our lives.' Divided families say the official perusal of their applications is slow.