Sep 15, 2006

An Old Man's Wish

Should man-made rules stand in the way of a 99-year-old man's wish to die in peace? Should man-made rules be adhered to the T always? Can't the Indian and Pakistani governments talk this out and grant this old man's wish which probably is his last wish.

Nawab Din, a resident of the Mirpur area of PoK came to the Rajouri area to meet his son after a gap of four decades in August. He had crossed the LoC as part of an agreement between India and Pakistan by which civilians of the two parts of the State were allowed to visit relatives across the LoC. The authorities allowed the old man to stay here for a maximum period of one month and he was to have returned to PoK three days back. Now, he refuses to return home. "I do not want to return to Mirpur as all my relatives live here. The authorities should allow me to stay here and try to understand my plight. Even for performing my last rites, I do not have anybody in PoK. The Indian Government should take a liberal view of my state and allow me to settle down here permanently," said Nawab Din in a choked voice.

Nawab Din was separated from his family during the 1965 war between India and Pakistan. When Pakistani forces entered deep into the Indian territory, Nawab Din found himself in PoK and could never return back even after the declaration of ceasefire. Now after 41 years, Nawab Din was able to return to his place. According to authorities, who are keen to send Nawab Din as quickly as possible, the agreement is to allow the civilians of the divided State to cross the LoC to meet their relatives and not permanently stay in the other territory. So Nawab Din would have to return to PoK sooner.[The Hindu]

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