Pakistan deports Sikh pilgrim hailing from Amritsar

Pakistani authorities handed him over to the BSF at Attari-Wagah border around 4 pm. Family of Amarjit was waiting for him since morning. He was also questioned by Indian agencies before being released to his family.

Written by KAMALDEEP SINGH BRAR | Amritsar | Published: April 25, 2018 8:24:18 am
Sikh pilgrims A resident of Naranjanpur village near Amritsar, Amarjit was allegedly picked up from the house of his alleged Facebook friend Ameer Razak of Shekhupura near Lahore. (Representational)

Pakistan on Tuesday deported the missing Sikh pilgrim, 24-year-old Amarjit Singh, who was handed over to Border Security Force at Attari border. Amarjit was part of Sikh jatha that went to Pakistan on April 12 to celebrate Baisakhi. He, however, didn’t return along with jatha on April 22.

A resident of Naranjanpur village near Amritsar, Amarjit was allegedly picked up from the house of his alleged Facebook friend Ameer Razak of Shekhupura near Lahore. Pakistani authorities handed him over to the BSF at Attari-Wagah border around 4 pm. Family of Amarjit was waiting for him since morning. He was also questioned by Indian agencies before being released to his family.

Amarjit talked to The Indian Express about his stay in Pakistan.

What happened with your trip to Pakistan?
It was all due to a confusion. I thought my visa was for 15 days. But it was only for 10 days. I went to meet a Facebook friend. As soon as I saw news about me running on TV channels, I reported back to Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) in Pakistan. It is a fake news that my friend made a complaint about me. I am not working for any secret agencies. There was no conspiracy. It all happened due to confusion. Normally, young people of your age in India do not go to Pakistan out of fear that it would impact their chances to get visa of developed countries. I didn’t have this thing in my mind. I go to gurudwaras. I used to go to such pilgrimage. So this was the only reason I went to Pakistan.

How did you become friend with a Pakistani national?
We met on Facebook around seven to eight months back. We liked each other’s photos. He asked me where I lived and other things and we became friends. We also used to talk on Whatsapp via audio and video call.

Was your friend aware that you were planning to meet him?
No. He had no idea about it. I called him only after reaching Pakistan and told him I was coming to his home. I had last talked with him five days before our jatha left from India. So it was a surprise for him when I called him from Lahore. I only stayed for one night at his home. I came back to ETPB officials as soon as I realised that everyone was searching for me. I was not arrested or recovered. I myself reported back.

After this episode, are you still friends with Ameer Razak?
Yes. we are still friends and will remain friends. They were very good to me during my stay at their home.

Will you again go to Pakistan to meet your friend?
No. It all became big news. So I don’t think I will go there again.

What do you want to do in your life?
These days, I am doing farming. I spent a year in Malaysia. I want to go to some good country to make money.

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