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"During 1990s, the situation in Jammu Kashmir went from bad to worse and took the form of a war. We were forced to leave the area because we didn't have any other option. Many of my family members and neighbors migrated with me to Pakistani Kashmir. When we were crossing river Neelum, the water flow was so fast that we lost many men, women and children to the river water. It was gut wrenching, but we didn't have any other option except to move forward. If we went back, we would have definitely died in the crossfire. So we moved forward with heavy hearts because at least there was hope ahead of us. But when we came here, we had nothing - no food, no property. All we could do was to mourn for our loved ones. When we reached Aatmuqam, Kashmir, (which was then a very small town) fortunately the local community supported us by providing us shelter at their own houses in the name of Islam and humanity. They also helped us find jobs and set up businesses. I'm thankful to these people. They didn't let our hopes die out. The lives of our loved ones were not lost in vain. I will forever be grateful to these Pakistani brothers and sisters for having big hearts."


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