Rehab Policy Raises Majid’s Hopes Of Reunion With Brother3 July 2011
Beerwah: Abdul Majid Dar was just nine years old when his brother crossed Line of Control for arms training in 1997 like many of his friends did in Utligam village of Beerwah in Central Kashmir’s Budgam district. Majid has faint memory of how his brother, Nazir Ahmed Dar looked like when he left home and now remembers his face only through pictures. Over these years, the Dar family has gone through many hardships. Nazir’s father died just two months after his son crossed over to Muzaffarabad in Pakistan administered Kashmir. When Majid and his five sisters were trying to overcome the shock of their father’s death, their mother, Moghli also breathed her last leaving the family shattered. She died with her last wish to see her elder son getting married unfulfilled. Young Majid became the sole breadwinner for his five sisters. A shawl weaver, he managed to marry off all his sisters over the last 14 years. “I borrowed Rs one lakh loan from the bank and worked hard. Some of my relatives supported me in managing the expenses of the marriages,” says Majid, now a 23-year-old lad. “But, I accepted all challenges to meet both ends. And I am still repaying the loan.” Though Majid lost his parents in hard circumstances, his hope to see his elder brother back home didn’t die. “Till I am alive, I’ll be hopeful to wait for my brother.” Majid yearns to see his brother back home, but he also has some apprehensions like “Will his brother be given a job? Will he be allowed to live a peaceful life?” These questions trouble young Majid, who keeps enquiring whether his brother can live with him again. Nazir is working as a labourer in Muzafarabad. “This is what he told me on phone. But he didn’t send me the pictures of his wife, which means he hasn’t married yet,” says Majid. “I asked him what was he doing there to earn a living and he replied that he was a labourer but he didn’t elaborate.” Majid says his brother was enquiring whether he could return safely. “Security was the only concern for him (Nazir),” he says. “Whenever we talk on phone, he keeps asking about security related issues. I told him that police had come to verify about him. Police asked me to sign on a form of verification recently.” Majid doesn’t remember the face of his brother as such and knows him through pictures the latter has sent from PaK over these years. “I was a kid when he left. Now I recognize him through the pictures he has sent me,” says Majid. He says his brother’s return would give his life a new direction. “We will both earn and live a happy life.” Many families in this village, whose dear ones crossed over to Muzaffarabad, have been receiving frequent calls from their sons and all enquire whether the formalities for their return to this side had been completed. “At least 12 youth from three to four villages of Beerwah left for PaK. Some left in 1994, some before that and some in 1998,” said an elderly person of the village, wishing not to be named. It may be recalled that Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah recently announced that 108 cases were cleared for return from PaK under the rehabilitation policy. Omar’s message raised hopes of many families whose dear ones have conveyed to them that they wanted to come back provided they are allowed to live peacefully and without any trouble from the security agencies.