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After 60 years, Kashmiri woman reunites with family across border via Facebook

Published: Updated:

A 75-year-old Pakistani woman has reconnected with her family after 60 years of complete separation across the border in India.

According to a news report, Jehan Sultana was forced into marriage when she was eight in Charsadda, Pakistan.

Sultana then went missing and could not be traced for over 60 years. During this time she married again and moved a long distance away, raising six children. She is now a widow. Only recently, Sultana was able to reunite with her family due to Facebook.

(Photo Courtesy: The Express Tribune)
(Photo Courtesy: The Express Tribune)

The long-lost family

After Sultana disappeared, her family looked for her everywhere but there was no trace of her. They even started believing that she was dead.

Fortunately, Rahimuddin, a local who runs a Facebook community page for residents of the area, received a message via Facebook from Indian Occupied Kashmir.

This was because Ziaul Haq, one of the Sultana’s sons, had sought help in finding his mother’s family. “I tried my level best to find her and was finally able to locate her brother who confirmed that his sister had gone missing decades ago,” Rahimuddin told The Express Tribune.

(Photo Courtesy: The Express Tribune)
(Photo Courtesy: The Express Tribune)

Later, through the IMO video chat app, Sultana and her children were able to speak to the family in Pakistan. Rahimuddin added that Sultana lost her consciousness when she saw her siblings.

Ikramullah, a friend of Rahimuddin, told the newspaper that he had been trying to help the woman get a visa for Pakistan for over three months. The high commission finally granted visas to the woman, one of her daughters, and one of her sons.

“I am overjoyed at having met my family. I dreamt of this moment for years,” Sultana said. When asked how they reached India, the woman’s son Ziaul Haq said that she married his Kashmiri father while he was working as a laborer in Lahore.

He said his mother was running a successful small business in Indian Kashmir while he was working as a software engineer.