Amritsar, Aug. 23 (PTI): An 80-year-old woman, who was recently reunited with her sons for the first time since the Partition, has asked the government to let her to spend the rest of her days at the family village here which she left in 1947.
"I am of this village because I was born here. But I never knew that it would take me 58 years to get a visa to step on Indian soil. Now let me die in India. It would be possible if the Indian government allows me to stay here as I don't want to go back to Pakistan," says Bashira Bibi.
Ramdass village, about 55 km from Amritsar, is located exactly on the edge of the Indo-Pak international border.
She says, "in 1947, one day I went to visit my relatives in Samtota village in Fasilabad district (now Pakistan). I never knew the boundaries would be drawn the same day and that one side would become India and the other Pakistan. I was separated from my three sons, who are now in Ramdass village".
Bashira and one of her four sons Swarn Dass, who was with her when she inadvertently crossed the border, had a tough time in Pakistan.
"I have seen very hard days in Pakistan. Even two square meals a day was a distant dream for me as my relatives there died two decades ago. All these years, I was longing to visit India," she says.
"Ultimately, I got a visa for India in 2001, but for the state of Himachal Pardesh instead of Punjab."