Deaf-mute Geeta, stranded in Pak, set to return home after 'identifying her family'

Islamabad/New Delhi: Geeta, the deaf-mute Indian woman living in Pakistan after accidentally crossing the border over a decade ago, will be back home soon.

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"Geeta will be back in India soon. We have located her family. She will be handed over to the family only after the DNA test," External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Thursday in New Delhi.

(Left) Kabir Khan with Salman Khan; Human rights activist Ansar Burney with Geeta
(Left) Kabir Khan with Salman Khan; Human rights activist Ansar Burney with Geeta

Later briefing the reporters, spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry Vikas Swarup said three sets of photographs were sent to Geeta, out of which she has identified one as possibly her parents but added that a conclusive proof of parentage could be only established through DNA testing.

Geeta's Indian nationality has already been verified and she will brought to India as her "coming back to India is not dependent on whether or not we discover her parents. She is daughter of India. It is our duty to bring her back to India very very shortly.

"If the DNA testing verifies that they are indeed her parents then she will be handed over to them. If not, we have identified two institutions one in Delhi and one in Indore -- which are meant for people with certain disabilities. We believe that Geeta will find very good and welcoming home there.... The procedure to bring her back is almost complete," the spokesperson said.

He also said that two members of Edhi Foundation which has been taking care of Geeta will accompany her to India.

23-year-old Geeta was adopted by the Edhi Foundation's Bilquees Edhi and lives with her in Karachi.

The Indian woman stranded in Pakistan for over 10 years is poised to be reunited with her family, Edhi Foundation spokesman Anwar Kazmi also confirmed.

According to sources, Geeta has identified her father, step-mother and siblings from a photograph sent to her by the Indian High Commission in Islamabad. The family reportedly lives in Bihar.

Geeta was reportedly just 7 or 8 years old when she was found sitting alone on the Samjhauta Express by the Pakistan Rangers 15 years ago at the Lahore railway station.

Police took her to the Edhi Foundation in Lahore and later she was shifted to Karachi.

Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan, T C A Raghavan, and his wife had visited Geeta in August after Swaraj directed him to meet her and try to locate her family.

A Foreign Office spokesman said that Pakistan would cooperate for the return of Geeta.

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