India-Pakistan partition and subsequent wars have left many families in pain.
Zaiba, who lives in the Gilgit-Baluchistan area of Pakistan had to travel 3000 km, shuttling between buses and airports to meet her ailing mother who lived on the Indian side, merely 30 km away from her village.
Zaiba who now lives in Thoqmus in Pakistan could not visit her hometown for 45 years due to the dispute between India and Pakistan.
When she visited her mother on August 29, 2016, she found her 96-years-old mother was paralysed and unable to do anything.
The separation began during 1971 war when Chalunka, Zaiba’s hometown, was captured by the Indian Army. Soon, it became a part of India. Zaiba and her husband moved to Thoqmus- a village 30 km into the Pakistani side.
When she moved, little did she know that she would have to wait nearly four and a half decades, travel around 3,000 kms and spend Rs 40,000 to see her mother again.
Zaiba’s nephew, Ilyas Hussain commented:
When we first applied for an Indian visa for her in November 2015, the application was rejected.
Upon reaching Chalunka, the emotionally overwhelmed Zaiba commented that the landscape, culture, beliefs, cuisine, architecture, language and people are exactly same as the eastern part of Gilgit-Baluchistan where Thoqmus and Skardu are located.
The wars have indeed separated a number of families. But thankfully, the present Indian government understands the agony of such separated families and is providing visas to them to reunite with the beloved ones.