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HindustanTimes Mon,21 Apr 2014

Good tidings for Aligarh couple from across the border

Pradeep Saxena letters@hindustantimes.com Pradeep Saxena, Hindustan Times  Aligarh, March 26, 2013
First Published: 12:53 IST(26/3/2013) | Last Updated: 12:56 IST(26/3/2013)

The 19-year-long struggle of Aligarh resident Hafiz Vaqar and his Pakistani wife Salma to bring back their son Salman from Pakistan seems to have yielded some result now.

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Salman was about three years old when he had to be left back at Salma’s ancestral home in Karachi in 1994 due to ill health and later could not return to India owing to certain visa and passport problems.

Now after 19 years of continuous struggle by the distraught parents and help from Indian MP Raj Kumari Chauhan, Salman may be back with his family soon.

The Indian embassy in Islamabad recently sent a message to them to come and take back their son after submitting proof.

The couple is already in Pakistan with all related documents. Sources say that if need arises, the trio may have to undergo DNA test.

Vaqar, a resident of Jaiganj here, told Hindustan Times before leaving for Pakistan that, “Chauhan had written a letter to foreign minister Salman Khurshid in this regard. After two months, high commissioner of Pakistan in India spoke to them over phone. His personal secretary was in constant touch and also sent three messages. On that basis I received visa for a month and my wife (who is not Indian citizen till now) has got visa for three months.”

A grocer by profession, Vaqar hopes that this time their efforts to get back their son will bear fruit.

Recalling her ordeal, Salma said: “I was married to Vaqar in 1981 and Salman was born in 1991. We went to Pakistan in 1994 along with Salman where he fell sick. Our visa was about to expire, so we had to leave Salman with my parents. Later my husband fell ill due to diabetes and we could not go to Pakistan for a long period. In 2006, I went to Pakistan on long-term visa and tried to bring back Salman. But authorities refused to issue passport to Salman, saying he was a Pakistani.In 2012 I again went to Pakistan and submitted all documents with Ansar Burney Trust, which gave us three months time but nothing materialised till recently when we got a call from Pakistani authorities asking us to bring related documents and take back our son,” she said.

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