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Another couple says no 'azadi' in PoK

Written by: Staff

Srinagar, Oct 29: Mohammad Akhtar and his wife Mahroof Begum had sneaked into India from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) from the Uri sector yesterday, but a few meters on this side of the Line of Control (LoC), the couple were apprehended by the Army.

This was the third family apprehended by troops soon after crossing the LoC from PoK in the month of October.

On the night of October 9, Farid Ahmed Gilani, a resident of Kupwara, along with his wife and six children -- four daughters and two sons -- were nabbed near the LoC in the Uri sector.

Before that, Maluk Tedua, also from Kupwara, along with his wife Shameema, a PoK citizen, and son Bilal had crossed the LoC from the Uri sector on October 1 and were apprehended by troops.

The Army produced Akhtar and his wife before the media at the XV Corps headquarters here.

Talking to journalists, Akhtar, a resident of Sarculi in Kupwara district, said he was threatened and abducted from his house and taken to Muzaffarabad, the capital of PoK, by Al Barq militants in September 2001.

In Muzaffarabad, Akhtar said he was registered with the Jamiat-ul-Mujahideen militant outfit and sent to 'Ilaqa-e-Gair' camp for a three-month basic training in handling of arms.

During this period, Akhtar said he developed chronic chest pain but managed to complete his training. From 2002 to January 2006, he stayed at Khewari camp in Manshera area of PoK.

In January this year, Akhtar said he was informed by militant leaders that he would be launched shortly. However, Akhtar met a commander and expressed his inability to be launched owing to health problems and told him that he was incapable of moving in harsh and rugged terrain with heavy load.

Akhtar said he then moved to Ambore Mohajir camp where he married Mahroof, a resident of Muzaffarabad, who had lost her parents in the devastating earthquake of October 8 last year.

Akhtar said he was finding it very difficult to lead a happy life due to meagre income. A few days ago, he said some militants entered his house and not finding him, threatened his wife, alleging that her husband was helping Kashmiris surrender before the Indian Army.

Akhtar said he decided to leave PoK at the earliest as it was no longer safe for him to stay there. He sought help from one of his friends, Chaudhary, who assured him of a safe passage till the LoC.

Akhtar said his friend hired a car and put him inside the dickey and made his wife sit in the front and dropped them near the LoC.

Akhtar along with his wife then started moving towards the LoC during the hours of darkness. He was spotted by troops during yesterday morning and apprehended.

Akhtar said even after great sacrifices Kashmiris were not trusted in PoK. ''They are pawns in the power game being played by Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) and militants. Life of a Mohajir (refugee) is insecure due to threat from the ISI, Pakistani militants and the Army,'' he claimed..

Akhtar said militant groups and the ISI forcibly pick up Kashmiri youth from refugee camps to train and then launch them across the LoC for various terror acts.

''Kashmiris in PoK have started believing that their actual place is in the Valley and with India. Here they have their family, relatives and get true self respect. Kashmiris cannot dream of a secure future with Pakistan. There is no Azadi (freedom) in so-called 'Azad Kashmir' (PoK),'' he claimed.


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