17 years on, spurned lover back from Pak af­ter 3 years in jail

Sunday Express - - NEWS - HARPREET BA­JWA

IN what seems to be a real-life re­make of the Bol­ly­wood film

Veer-Zaara, a man from New Delhi fell in love with a Pak­istani woman, crossed the bor­der to be with her, and even­tu­ally got ar­rested. More than 17 years later, Afzal Ah­mad, now 54, set foot on In­dian soil again on Fri­day.

Ah­mad, who once was a sales­man for a footwear com­pany, fell in love with Mas­rat Khureshi and mar­ried her in 1997, by read­ing the ‘Nikah’ con­tract over the phone. Four years later, he got a one-month visa and hopped on a Delhi-La­hore bus to meet his wife.

But by then, Khureshi was mar­ried to a man in the United King­dom, and held a Bri­tish- Pak­istani dual cit­i­zen­ship, sources said.Ah­mad, how­ever, met her in Karachi, and stayed on in Pak­istan even af­ter his visa ex­pired. He said Khureshi lived in Bri­tain, but would of­ten come to visit him for three­four months a year.

This, sources said, con­tin­ued till 2014, when she didn’t come over, but said she wouldn’t be able to meet him ever again.

In Septem­ber 2015, Ah­mad was ar­rested and awarded four months in jail. Though his term at the Kot Lakh­pat jail in La­hore ended in 2016, he was not re­leased, and was only handed back to In­dia on Fri­day.

Ah­mad’s case is sim­liar to that of Hamid An­sari, who also crossed the bor­der to meet his lover, but was ar­rested.

Afzal Ah­mad

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