Indian national Geeta greets media with a traditional Indian “namaste” prior her departure from the international airport in Karachi, Pakistan, Monday, Oct. 26, 2015. Geeta, who is deaf and mute, accidentally crossed the border into Pakistan from India as a child nearly 12 years ago, left for Delhi after Indian authorities issued her travel document, local media reported. (AP Photo/Shakil Adil)
By MUNIR AHMED, Associated Press
ISLAMABAD (AP) — A deaf and mute Indian woman who accidently crossed the border into Pakistan as a child 12 years ago left for New Delhi on Monday hoping to be reunited with her family, a spokesman for a Pakistani charity said.
The woman, Geeta, who is now around 23 years old, departed the Pakistani city of Karachi by plane Monday morning, said Faisal Edhi, the spokesman for the Edhi Foundation. Geeta was accompanied on the flight by officials from the charity, which has cared for her since she was handed over by authorities after she entered Pakistan in 2003.
“About two weeks ago, Geeta identified her family after seeing some pictures provided to us by Indian diplomats,” Edhi told The Associated Press. “She was very happy over it.”
In addition to the family in the pictures that Geeta identified, Indian media has reported that another man is claiming to be Geeta’s father.
DNA tests will be conducted to ensure that Geeta, who goes by one name, is reunited with her own parents, said Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
Associated Press writer Ashok Sharma in New Delhi contributed to this report.
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