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Indian envoy’s visit rekindles hopes for reuniting Geeta with family

Raghavan meets stranded woman at Edhi Home, vows all-out efforts to find her family soon

By Shahid Husain
August 05, 2015
Hopes to reunite Geeta, a 24-year-old stranded Indian woman who had boarded a train and arrived in Pakistan by mistake 15 years ago, with her family got a fresh boost on Tuesday when the Indian high commissioner in Pakistan vowed efforts to find her family members soon.
Dr TCA Raghavan held out the assurance as he along with his wife visited the Edhi Home in the Kharadar area to gather information about Geeta, who is speech- and hearing-impaired and was only 10 years old when the train brought her to Lahore.
Talking to the media, he said the aim of his meeting with the woman was to get as much knowledge as he possibly could with regards to her situation.
Raghavan said the Indian government’s decision to send him there “is a message of peace in itself”. He also hoped that the Pakistan-India dialogue would soon resume.
After entering Pakistan, Geeta was caught by paramilitary rangers and handed over to the Edhi Home on humanitarian grounds, where she had been living since, Faisal Edhi told The News.
The Indian high commissioner said he was happy to visit the Edhi Home and thanked Abdul Sattar Edhi on behalf of the Indian external affairs minister.
Faisal Edhi said Raghavan woud visit the Edhi Home one or two times more to decide about the fate of Geeta.
A day earlier, India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had directed High Commissioner Raghavan to travel to Karachi and meet Geeta.
In response to a tweet by human rights activist Ansar Burney regarding a search for Geeta’s family, Swaraj said: “I have asked Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan Dr TCA Raghavan to go to Karachi with Mrs Raghavan and meet this girl.”
Geo News was instrumental in bringing the story of Geeta to the limelight during the Ramazan transmission of Dr Aamir Liaquat Hussain on July 25.
Geeta lives with Bilqees Edhi, the wife of Abdul Sattar Edhi. She said that the woman kept telling her through gestures that she wanted to fly back home in an airplane. “Sometimes, she cries a lot. I pray to Allah that she is reunited with her family soon.”
These development follow the success of a recent Bollywood film, Bajrangi Bhaijan, which revolves around a similar story — of a girl lost in India and a man who helps her return home in Pakistan.