More than seven months ago when Abdul Samad, a resident of Azad Kashmir, accidentally crossed the Line of Control (LoC) he had no idea about the ordeal he and his family were going to be put through.
The 14-year-old, Abdul Samad, crossed the LoC by mistake in November last year and now seven months later, his family is yet to hear from him or about his release. Back in April 1974, Pakistan and India, signed an agreement to release such prisoners from jail who had not committed any crimes and had crossed the LoC by accident.
Under that agreement, Abdul Samad, who is in 9th grade, should have been home by now but his uncle Arbab Ali laments they have not even been able to speak to him on the telephone.
“He crossed the LoC on November 18th, trying to catch his pigeons and has had to pay such a heavy price,” informed Arbab, who is a taxi driver in Islamabad.
Arbab informed that, Samad, whose nickname is Asmad Ali, was raised by his grandparents after his mother died early in his life and his father remarried.
“They have been waiting for months now just to hear his voice but nobody has allowed our Asmad to even contact us,” a visibly torn Arbab said, “we are losing hope and no one is doing anything.”
Abdul Samad’s plight is shared by others on both sides of the border. Twice a year, Pakistan and India exchange lists of prisoners and according to the details released on January 1, 2022, there are 628 Indian nationals incarcerated in Pakistani jails, while 282 Pakistanis are languishing in Indian jails.