External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today met Mohammad Ramzan, a 15-year-old Pakistani boy stuck in India for over two years, and assured to send an official to the neighbouring country to facilitate his return.
“I am going to send our official to Pakistan tomorrow to facilitate Ramzan’s return to his homeland,” Swaraj told reporters after after meeting the teenager from the neighbouring country here today.
Ramzan was also present with Swaraj when she addressed the media at her official residence here. The Union Minister said she would meet Geeta, a deaf-mute girl, who recently returned to India from Pakistan after being stranded there for over a decade.
“I am going to meet Geeta in Indore tomorrow,” Swaraj, MP from Vidisha Lok Sabha constituency in the state, said. Ramzan’s story is similar to Geeta, who was reportedly just seven or eight years old when she was found sitting alone on the Samjhauta Express by the Pakistan Rangers 15 years ago at the Lahore railway station. Geeta was adopted by Edhi Foundation’s Bilquis Edhi and lived with her in Karachi. She returned to India on October 26.
Ramzan is currently staying at a shelter home ‘Umeed’ run by an NGO ‘Aarambh’.
Ramzan’s ordeal started when his father Mohammad Kazol divorced his mother Begum Razia in 2009. Kazol along with his son and daughter Zora started living separately. Razia twice or thrice contacted Kazol to get back her children.
A deal was struck between Kazol and Razia under which she got Zora. Kazol moved to Bangladesh in 2009 or 2010 along with Ramzan and remarried a woman in Bangladesh, which only compounded problems for the boy.
His step mother started ill-treating Ramzan. His father, too, did him no good. So around 30 months back, the boy sneaked into India on someone’s advice, to pave way for his return to Pakistan, Director of ‘Umeed’ Archana Sahay had said.
The run-away boy landed in Ranchi and after wandering in Mumbai, and New Delhi reached the Bhopal station where the police caught him and handed him to ‘Umeed’, she had said.
In Karachi, the teen’s mother happened to get information about Ramzan and contacted him from Pakistan over phone in Bhopal in September this year. Ever since, they have been talking regularly.
The Centre has set the ball rolling for Ramzan’s repatriation as the Ministry of External Affairs had contacted ‘Umeed’ and asked it to send a petition to facilitate his return.