Sushma thanks Pakistan after Geeta’s return

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj

New Delhi, Oct 26  Expressing joy and happiness over Geeta’s return to India from Pakistan after over a decade, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday thanked the Pakistan government and the NGO who took care of the deaf and mute girl.

“I thank government of Pakistan and the NGO who took care of Geeta in Pakistan all these years… I thank them from the bottom of my heart,” Swaraj said while addressing a press conference here.

“I saw a report on TV once, and I began inquiring about the girl from Indian authorities in Pakistan,” she said.

The minister, while thanking everyone involved in making Geeta’s return possible, said: “It’s a happy day for us. Geeta has returned home after a long time.”

Speaking about Geeta’s future in India, the minister said the government would try all possibilities of reuniting Geeta with her family, and in case it does not work out, as there have been doubts over claims being made by various couples from different parts of the country, it would put her in some good institution where she could learn sign language and join some vocational course.

“We will try our level best in reuniting Geeta with her family, and if it does not work out we will train her in a way so that she is on her own and is able to lead a respectable life,” Swaraj said.

The minister said all the Pakistanis from Edhi Foundation who accompanied Geeta to India would be taken to places of their interest in India and would be treated as “our esteemed guests”.

In 2003, Geeta — then 11 years old and who had accidentally crossed over to the neighbouring country — was spotted by the Pakistan Rangers in Lahore, and handed over to the Edhi Foundation.