Expressing her wish, Anara Begum says, “I spent all my life in turbulence but I want to die peacefully here. I wish to be buried by my son alongside the graves of my parents.”
“My husband would regret his decision of leaving our ailing son here,” she says with watery eyes. “After our relocation, he lived and died with the same sense of remorse.”
Besides many other relatives, Anara Begum has a younger brother and a sister who live in the nearby villages. Another such petitioner, Qazi Illam Din who came to village Rajpura in tehsil Mandi of Poonch district in September 2008 also died in February 2009 during the pendency of case.
He too remained incommunicado with his family here since 1965. As per his final wish, he was buried in the same graveyard where his elders were laid to rest.
The LoC bus service is the only ray of hope for hundreds of divided families to meet with their loved ones. Even amidst the darkness of hostilities, the ray should not lose its shine.
Being a problem itself, war cannot be a solution to any problem. Renowned Urdu scholar and progressive poet, Ali Sardar Jafri says in his celebrated poem ‘Guftagu’.
Guftugu bandh na ho, baat se baat chalay, Subah tak Shaam-e-mulaqaat chalay, hum pe hansti hui taaron bhari ye raat chalay…haath mein haath liye…regzaron ke aadavat ke guzar jayeinge, Khoon ke daryon se hum paar utar jaayenge
(Keep the conversation going, one word leading to another, the evening rendezvous lasting till dawn, the starry night laughing down with us. …holding hands…we shall cross the deserts of hatred, and ford the rivers of blood).
Despite border disturbances and military issues, peace dialogue must continue. In another masterpiece, Subh-e-Farda (The morning of tomorrow), the poet says:
Ye sarhad….mehakti, jagmagaati, ik dulhan ki maang ki surat, ki jo baalon ko taqssem to dau hisson mein taqseem to karti hai, magar sindoor ki talwaar se, sandal ki ungli se…….wo din aaye yeh sarhad bosa-e-lab ban ke reh jaye.
(Instead of slithering like a snake on the bosom of our land, a border could be like parting in a bride’s hair—which does divide the hair, but with sword of vermilion, the loving finger of sandalwood. I wish for the day when border becomes the kiss of lips).
(The writer is an independent reporter and can be mailed at email@example.com)