Tuesday, August 22, 2006, Chandigarh, India
Hari Govind VishwakarmaPoonch LoC Point (J&K), August 21
An Indian woman and her Pakistani husband, married 41 years ago, are still waiting for their honeymoon. because they live a kilometer apart on either side of LoC.
Although the five crossing points along the LoC have opened in past one year under confidence-building measure between India and Pakistan uniting thousands of divided families across the border could bring no end to the tragic saga of Barkat bi and her husband Niaz Mohammad, who are in their 70s.
Barkat bi, living in frontier belt at Jallas village of Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir since 1965, was separated from her husband Niaz Mohammad 41 years ago. Niaz Mohammad lives in Hajeera area of the PoK. She is still waiting to be united with her husband living just a kilometer away.
Jallas is the last Indian village which till recently was situated in the danger zone because of shelling from across the LoC.
The couple was separated during the 1965 Indo-Pak war. Niaz Mohammad was left on the other side of 'ceasefire line' which was later converted into the LoC.
Even after the war ended, there were no means of communication between the couple living on the two sides of the LoC. Telephone lines are still snapped between the two areas on both the sides.
But as the movement of civilians started due to initiative taken by India and Pakistan, the link between the couple was established.
''We had married each other after falling in love and tied the knot in fifties in our village in Poonch,'' says Barkat bi remembering her years of suffering and endless wait for her husband.
She further stated, ''It was the feeling of love which could not separate us emotionally even though we were separated physically.
“There was no way I could forget my love. The peace between the two countries is not just a word for both of us. It is the difference between life and death.''
Barkat bi still preserves the old family photographs and see them many times a day. The lady has not lost hopes and has applied to get permission to go across the LoC to embrace her missing love.
When asked whether she is still excited about her honeymoon, she says " yes I am waiting my soulmate for fresh honeymoon after 41 long years". — UNI