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Bhopal City
Pak high commission steps up for Karachi boy stranded in Bhopal

BHOPAL: Karachi's runaway boy, Mohammad Ramzan, who has remained stranded in Bhopal for the past two years, saw a ray of hope when he recently received a call from the high commission of Pakistan.

A counsellor from the high commission called the Childline authorities in Bhopal and inquired him, and assured them that they would try their best to send him back to his mother, said sources.

Pakistan high commission official in New Delhi Ilyas Mehmood Nizami said, “We have contacted the authorities in Pakistan to ascertain his national status. Once that is done, we would decide."

The ministry of external affairs (MEA) has already given up on Ramzan’s case. In an official communication with Childline, MEA has said that his is a "closed file" with no documentary evidence to prove his Pakistani citizenship.

The 15-year-old Pakistani boy had moved to Bangladesh along with his father and later sneaked into India alone in 2011.

He travelled to many states before landing in Bhopal. He was spotted at the Bhopal railway station by the government railway police (GRP) on September 22, 2013, and shifted to a shelter home run by Childline. Ramzan has remained there since then.

In September 2015, a CA student from Bhopal traced the boy's family in Karachi by sharing pictures via social media. But all efforts to send him home has failed.

"MEA has given us in writing that nothing can be done in this case. They say the case is closed. What are we supposed to do now?" asked Archana Sahay, director of Bhopal chapter of Childline.

"After a video chat with his mother in Karachi, Ramzan has become restless now," she said.

Ramzan says, "Send me to Pakistan in the same aeroplane in which Geeta, (the deaf-mute Indian woman living in Pakistan after accidentally crossing the border over a decade ago) is being sent to India from Pakistan."

Geeta will return to her country on October 26, with five members of Edhi Foundation.

Meanwhile, Pakistan human rights activist, Ansar Burney, has stepped up efforts to get the boy back. He mailed a copy of the passports of Ramzan's grandparents to the Indian embassy and Childline.

Ramzan was separated from his mother at age of 10 when his father Mohammad took him to Bangladesh and remarried. After being tortured by his stepmother, the boy crossed the border to India with the hope of coming back to his mother in Pakistan. He landed at the shelter home in Bhopal, where he is anxiously waiting to return to his mother who is in Pakistan.

Ramzan's mother, Razia Begum, after learning that her son is in India, contacted Ansar Burney with a request for his release and return. She also uploaded a video appealing to the Indian government to send her son home. (With inputs from agencies)