Islamabad: It is only a matter of time before speech and hearing impaired Indian woman Geeta “will be forgotten and we will return back to our usual, toxic selves”, said a Pakistani daily on Wednesday.
An editorial “Geeta Says Farewell” in The Nation said that young Indian woman who strayed into Pakistan more than 12 years ago flew to Delhi to be reunited with the people she believes are her family, after a Bollywood movie galvanized a campaign to bring her back.
Known only as Geeta, she was unable to identify herself or say where she came from when she wandered over one of the world’s most militarized borders from neighbouring India. Now believed to be in her early 20s, she remained in Pakistan under the care of the country’s largest welfare organisation, the Edhi Foundation, living in a shelter in the port city of Karachi.
Accompanied by members of the Edhi family and her friends, Geeta’s bags were filled with new clothes as well as gifts for her family in India, when she left for her home.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted a photo of Geeta, saying, “Welcome Geeta. It is truly wonderful to have you back home. Was truly a delight to spend time with you today.”
To show his gratitude, the Indian prime minister offered to donate Rs.10 million to Edhi.
“However, the humanitarian organisation politely declined to accept his announced financial help – claiming that they do not accept any aid from government and donor agencies. This was a blessing for the Pakistan security establishment that the Edhi Foundation declined, as it would have opened huge debate that would further polarize opinion – the Pakistan versus India discussion,” said the daily.
The editorial observed that these heart-felt feelings towards Pakistan can only be seen as temporary. “Perhaps Modi was using this tactic to soften his image globally?”
“Relations between Pakistan and India are at their lowest ebbs with allegations of ceasefire violations and involvement in terrorism from both sides. While India rejected the peace plan, accusing Pakistan of promoting terrorism in the region, Pakistan handed over three dossiers of Indian involvement in terrorism inside Pakistan to the UN chief,” it said.
“It is only a matter of time that Geeta will be forgotten and we will return back to our usual, toxic selves,” it added.