Pakistan's media magnate's help sought in tracing missing Indian

Mumbai: Distraught parents of a 29-year-old management graduate from the city, who went to Pakistan to meet a girl with whom he fell in love on internet and went missing, today sought the help of Pakistani media magnate Hameed Haroon in locating him.

Nihal Ansari and his wife Fauzia, parents of Hamid, who has not come home since November 2012, met Haroon, CEO of Dawn Media Group, at an interaction organised at the Observer Research Foundation office here this evening and sought his assistance in tracing their son.

'Dawn' is an influential and leading English language newspaper of Pakistan. Haroon said he will speak to officials in Pakistan, including those in media and human rights groups, and get back to them. ORF Chairman Sudheendra Kulkarni said all efforts will be made to locate Hamid.

The management graduate fell in love with a Pashtun girl from Pakistan whom he met on popular social networking site Facebook. They regularly interacted via phone and internet. One day, the girl called Hamid and told him her parents wanted to forcibly get her married. Hamid then decided to travel to Pakistan and meet her parents.

He went to Afghanistan on a tourist visa and later sneaked illegally into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, a border province of Pakistan affected by Taliban insurgency and subsequently went missing.

The first news of Hamid came after almost two years. Thanks to the relentless efforts by Hamid's parents, Zeenat Shahzadi, a Pakistani journalist, confirmed in September that their son was in custody of the eighbouring country's police.

Nihal is a retired bank executive, while Fauzia is a lecturer in a Mumbai college.

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