However, Mr. Malik’s elder brother, Iqbal Malik, and a sister too vanished with the withdrawing soldiers. “My elder brother was a cricketer. He thought he had more chances of playing with the Pakistani team. He did play for Pakistan’s A-team later and settled in Gujaranwala. Since he joined the Army there, he could not visit Rajouri again,” said Mr. Malik.
“My parents went to see their separated children for the first time in 1983. When my mother died in 2000, it also brought a closure to the separation. I was burying my mother when my elder sister from Pakistan called up. I could not break the news of the death to her. I knew she could never make it to this place. At least the roads connecting the two parts of Jammu and Kashmir should open up. This conflict has degraded us, humans,” he said.
Mr. Malik went on to say: “Prime Minister Narendra Modi talks to us through Mann Ki Baat. When will he listen to our mann ki baat? The Muslim community created leaders like Maulana Azad and Sheikh Abdullah and turned the tide in favor of secularism. The fact that no single pandit died in 1947 in the Kashmir valley shows that we passed the Kashmiriyat test. But did New Delhi ever embrace us since 1947?”
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