While the release of sailor Sunil James from a Togo jail has brought cheers to his family and the entire nation, a Versova mother is hoping against hopes to know the whereabouts of her son, who went missing in Pakistan last year.
The family of Hamid Ansari says had the government extended help to them the way it did to James’s family, the search would have been fruitful.
“I am very happy that captain James is back after relentless struggle by his family. My struggle too is no different. Every day, I am approaching somebody influential to help us,” said Hamid’s mother Fauzia.
Twenty-seven-year-old Hamid had gone to Kabul for a job interview. When his parents did not hear from him after while, through Facebook posts and conversations, they learnt that he had allegedly entered Peshawar in Pakistan in November 2012 without valid documents to rescue a friend who was being forced to marry against her wishes. Dna had reported the MBA graduate’s story in April.
Hamid’s parents have been knocking on every possible door since then but to no avail. Fauzia said, “I know that both the incidents are different but I wish the government had taken half as much interest in finding my son’s whereabouts. While in Sunil James’s case, officials visited Togo, there has not been any bilateral talks between the two governments in my son’s case, that I am aware of. We don’t even know if he is alive.”
Fauzia, over the last one year, has approached every possible authority, including the Ministry of External Affairs, chief minister’s office, several MPs and MLAs, embassies and NGOs.
“We had the first hearing a week ago. Additional Solicitor General Indira Jaisingh has asked for more time. So the matter will be heard again in January,” said Advocate Arvind Sharma, who is appearing for Hamid’s family. Despite bleak prospects, the mother is hopeful that the government will take necessary steps through diplomatic channels.
“I recently got an assurance from the Indian embassy in Pakistan. They said they are doing their best. We are hopeful, especially after the Sunil James episode, that the government will support us.”