Asia

Pakistan thanks India for returning boy to mother

Iftikhar Ahmad Image copyright Ansar Burney Trust
Image caption Pakistan has thanked India for returning Iftikhar Ahmad to his mother

A five-year-old boy who was taken from Pakistan to India by his father nearly eleven months ago has been reunited with his mother.

Iftikhar Ahmad was received by Pakistani officials on the main border between the neighbouring regions on Saturday.

His father, Gulzar Ahmad Tantray, took him to India last year on the pretext of attending a wedding.

Pakistan has thanked India for returning Iftikhar.

"I had lost all hope of getting my child back," Iftikhar's mother Rohina Kayani told reporters, describing it as a "miracle".

"I am thankful to the Pakistani government for its help," she said.

Ms Kayani lives in Pakistani-administered Kashmir, while Mr Tantray now lives in Indian-administered Kashmir.

Image copyright Ansar Burney Trust
Image caption Iftikhar Ahmad with his mother Rohina Kayani before he left Pakistan
Image copyright Aurangzeb Saifullah
Image caption Mr Tantray with Rohina Kayani and Iftikhar in Pakistan-administered Kashmir

Iftikhar became the centre of a controversy between India and Pakistan when Mr Tantray was arrested in March 2016.

Mr Tantray, who grew up in a village in Ganderbal, crossed over to Pakistan-administered Kashmir in 1990, allegedly for arms training at the peak of the insurgency against Indian rule.

He returned to India-administered Kashmir with Iftikhar, where he was taken into police custody.

At the time, Rohina Kayani accused her husband of abducting the child and running away to the Indian side. Mr Tantray and his family have denied charges of kidnapping.

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