Attari (Punjab), June 28: Shutterbugs were waiting to capture the moment when Indian prisoner Surjeet Singh would meet his wife after a gap of over three decades that he spent in Pakistani prisons. But while his wife was not present to greet him, his son and daughters were there.
She will meet him at their native village in Ferozepur, officials said.
As he crossed the strip of no-man’s land between Pakistan and India to step on to home territory, Surjeet was surrounded by border officials and other family members, including his son Kulwinder Singh, daughters and other relatives.
He was garlanded and hugged by family members and fellow villagers from Phidde in Ferozepur district. Dozens of camera crews and media persons jostled with one another to capture that moment.
Surjeet was taken to Amritsar, where he later offered prayers at Harmandar Sahib, the holiest of Sikh shrines popularly known as the Golden Temple.
One relative later said that Surjeet’s wife, Harbans Kaur, was being taken to their village in Ferozepur district where they would finally meet.
His son Kulwinder was among the first to meet and hug him.
The couple, who belong to a farming family, have three children – two daughters and a son – before Surjeet went missing in early 1980s.
“I am very happy to return after 30 years and meet my children and family,” a visibly relieved and tired Surjeet said.
Smiling and waving to family members, friends and supporters, Surjeet thanked Pakistani border officials as he walked across the zero line at the international border at Attari.