41 years on, Angrez Kaur is hope personified as she waits for husband to return from Pak jail
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Angrez Kaur is hope personified. For the last forty-one years, the woman, now in her sixties, is waiting to meet her husband, Surjit Singh, an ex-BSF Jawan who was captured by the Pakistan Army in 1971 Indo-Pak war.
Most of her family members have lost hope that Surjit will ever return from Pakistan, but not Angrez. Her hope got a renewed strength last year in April, when the family, residing at Faridkot, received a reports that Surjit Singh was alive.
"Thirty-six Indian prisoners were freed last year by the Pakistan government. I met them and showed my father's photograph. They recognised him and told me that he was alive. My mother always knew that my father was alive," says Amrik Singh, Surjit's son. Amrik was only one-and-a-half months old when his father went missing in action.
However, now the family says that former Pakistan minister and human rights activist Ansar Burney, whom they met recently in Delhi, told them that he could not locate Surjit in Pakistan jails. In fact, as per Burney, Surjit may now be one of the 53 packs of ashes (of unclaimed soldiers who died in various jails) lying with the Pakistan government.
"Burney told us that our only hope was if the prisoners freed by the Pakistan recently recognize or tell us something about my father," Amrik adds.
It was the human rights activist only who had told the family last year that Surjit was alive and lodged in Pakistan's Quetta Jail. He had even assured the family of getting Surjit freed as soon as possible. Surjit was a part of 57 Battalion and was fighting in Chama district of Jammu and Kashmir when he was captured by the enemy. The Indian Army later declared him dead and the family has been receiving pension since then.
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