Indian uncles, aunties unforgettable, says freed Pakistani teenNovember 22nd, 2008 - 5:55 pm ICT by IANS
Islamabad, Nov 22 (IANS) He is back home now, but Pakistani teenager Nasir Sultan says he would love to return to India legally someday - not only to meet superstar Shah Rukh Khan but also those wonderful ordinary Indians who wished him well and ensured his release from jail.”I would love to go to Bollywood and meet Shah Rukh Khan, but this time with the consent of my parents,” Nasir Sultan, 15, told IANS Saturday, a day after he returned from India where he spent over two months in a juvenile jail in Faridkot, Punjab.
“Please convey my regards to Shah Rukh Khan and convey to him that one day I’ll meet him,” Nasir, who hails from Dir in North West Frontier Province, said. After all, it was admiration for the Indian actor that pulled the star-struck boy into India.
Nasir said when he left the prison Friday morning, many “uncles and aunties” wished him well. “I will miss them for long and if I get a chance to go to India with proper documents I will go to Faridkot to meet all these people,” he said.
He said what inspired him to venture into India was a film, “Ramchand Pakistani”, about a boy who accidentally strays across the border.
“I saw ‘Ramchand Pakistani’ and thought it was very easy to cross into India,” said Nasir.
Nasir said he had collected about Pakistani Rs.2,000. He put the money in his pocket and said goodbye to his mother. “Nothing special but I will return home in the evening…I am going with my friends,” Nasir recalled telling his mother one day in August.
He took a bus to Peshawar from Dir and changed again for Lahore. “In Lahore, I met a rickshaw driver who told me how I could reach the border… he asked me why I was going there but I told him I wanted to see the Pakistan-India border and that satisfied him.”
Nasir said then he took a bus to the border town and walked into India. “As I crossed the border, two security men (from India’s Border Security Force) came to me and asked several questions. When I told them that I want to meet Shah Rukh Khan, one of them slapped me…that’s the only beating I received during my stay in India.”
Nasir said he was put in a juvenile prison in Faridkot among 30-40 other children. “All the uncles (staff) there were extremely good, especially I can’t forget attitude of uncle Chandra Paul and Krishnan…all these people were extremely good, particularly to me and another Pakistani, Sunil,” Nasir said.
He said, “The lawyer uncle (he couldn’t pronounce the name) was very sympathetic and I told him my story. He was very helpful in my release.”
Nasir said he was surprised to see the Indians’ love for Pakistanis. “All the children used to ask me and Sunil how Pakistan is and how people there are…it was really unlike what we hear,” he said.
According to Nasir, the other Pakistani teenager, Sunil, had crossed the border with his two other friends Zeeshan and Umer in May this year and were arrested by the security forces. He said Sunil is in the same Faridkot juvenile jail while the two others are in an adult jail.
Nasir was handed over to the Pakistani authorities at the Attari-Wagah border Friday afternoon.
Human rights activist and former minister Ansar Burney said: “It is extremely strange that teenagers are crossing into India through a difficult border. We really need to know how they are doing so.”
Talking to IANS he said he will take up the matter with Pakistani and Indian authorities as he suspects that there are some human smugglers behind such activity.