When the world missed Kashmir Singh’s magic momentMarch 4th, 2008 - 6:09 pm ICT by admin
By Jaideep Sarin
Attari Border (Punjab), March 4 (IANS) The magic moment of a man meeting his family after 35 years was lost to the world when officials on the Indian side of the international border here forced Kashmir Singh to meet his family inside a room - away from the reach of all cameras. After Kashmir Singh, a former soldier accused of being an Indian spy and sentenced to death in Pakistan after being arrested there in 1973, walked into India, he was met by Border Security Force officials who shook hands with him.
The officials in charge of the area then allowed Punjab’s cabinet minister Bikram Singh Majithia and Hoshiarpur MP Avinash Rai Khanna to greet Kashmir Singh in full view of the cameras right at the gate to the Indian side of the border.
Singh was then taken into the briefing hall of the BSF complex here where his family had already been stationed.
The cameras, and the world, missed the opportunity to see the re-union of Singh, 70, with his wife Paramjit Kaur, 65 - meeting after 35 years - and also embracing his son and other relatives and friends. Singh and his wife had a love marriage nearly five decades ago.
Efforts by media persons to influence the BSF officials to allow the reunion in the open proved futile with the officials not budging an inch.
On the Pakistani side, the media had full access to the border right up to the gates and also to Singh. Even their outdoor broadcasting vans were parked right next to the border gates.
Later though, Singh was brought out garlanded with his wife, relatives and the politicians in tow for a photo opportunity.
Tags: 35 years, avinash, bikram singh, border gates, border security force, cabinet minister, decades, hoshiarpur, international border, kashmir, magic moment, media persons, mp, pakistan, photo opportunity, politicians, rai, relatives, soldier, vans