CHANDIGARH: Dalbir Kaur, the sister of Sarabjit Singh who died in a Pakistan jail in 2013, on Wednesday remembered former Union minister Sushma Swaraj as a pillar of support to her family during their tough days.
Kaur recalled having first met Swaraj at the BJP office in Delhi in 2005 when the family of Sarabjit, who was on a death row in Pakistan, had launched a campaign to get him back to India.
"We first met her in 2005 in BJP office in Delhi on Sarabjit issue. I was so touched by her gesture when she told me that we could meet her at her residence in Delhi anytime," Kaur, who belongs to Bhikiwind village in Amritsar, told PTI.
Recalling one such meetings, Kaur said, "She was very concerned about Sarabjit. There were times when she told me that she wanted to do more but felt helpless as her party was not in power at that time."
She was a pillar of support for us during those tough days, Kaur said.
Sarabjit Singh died following an attack on him by the inmates of a Lahore prison in April 2013.
He was convicted of terrorism and spying by a Pakistani court and sentenced to death in 1991.
However, the government had stayed his execution for an indefinite period in 2008.
Like many others, the news of Swaraj's demise also shocked Kaur, who at first thought that someone pranked her with false news.
"And when I read a message on my mobile phone, I could not believe it. I thought it was a prank and I rang up that person and fought with him. However, after a while the sad news was running on all TV channels. Her demise is a big loss to the nation. She has left a void which cannot be filled," she said.
Kaur recalled that Swaraj, who hailed from Ambala in Haryana, often used to speak to her in Punjabi.
Much longer before she became a minister in the Modi government, she used to chat with me on other issues as well. She had great knowledge about Sikh Gurus and Sikh history, she said.
Recalling Swaraj's ever helpful nature, Kaur said on several occasions she facilitated Pakistanis too who sought visas to get treatment for themselves or their children in India.
There are numerous examples when she played an angel's role in helping Indians in distress in foreign soil including Punjabis, many of whom fell in the trap of unscrupulous travel agents.
"She was always accessible to people creating a special place in their hearts. She dedicated all her life to people's cause. On one tweet, on one small request of a person in genuine need, she used to extend all help," Kaur said.
Kaur said that on one occasion when she took some villagers from Bhikiwind to meet her they were so impressed with her affectionate nature.
"During that meeting, we told Sushma ji that whenever we see her photos on the occasion of 'Karva Chauth', she looked like a newly-wedded bride and she gently smiled," she said.