12 years after girl strayed into Pakistan, woman going home

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NTP: Girl who strayed into Pakistan goes home 12 years later
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12 years after girl strayed into Pakistan, woman going home
Indian woman, Geeta holds a photograph, possibly of her family, at the Edhi Foundation in Karachi on October 15, 2015. A mute and deaf Indian girl who has been stuck in Pakistan for more than a decade because she cannot remember where she came from may have finally identified her family, the charity looking after her said. The new ray of hope for the woman known only as Geeta, believed to be in her early 20s, came after the Indian High Commission in Islamabad sent her a photograph of a family, whom she said she recognised. AFP PHOTO/ RIZWAN TABASSUM (Photo credit should read RIZWAN TABASSUM/AFP/Getty Images)
Indian woman, Geeta (R) takes blessing from Abdul Sattar Edhi, the chairman of Edhi Foundation in Karachi on October 15, 2015. A mute and deaf Indian girl who has been stuck in Pakistan for more than a decade because she cannot remember where she came from may have finally identified her family, the charity looking after her said. The new ray of hope for the woman known only as Geeta, believed to be in her early 20s, came after the Indian High Commission in Islamabad sent her a photograph of a family, whom she said she recognised. AFP PHOTO/ RIZWAN TABASSUM (Photo credit should read RIZWAN TABASSUM/AFP/Getty Images)
Indian woman, Geeta holds a photograph, possibly of her family, at the Edhi Foundation in Karachi on October 15, 2015. A mute and deaf Indian girl who has been stuck in Pakistan for more than a decade because she cannot remember where she came from may have finally identified her family, the charity looking after her said. The new ray of hope for the woman known only as Geeta, believed to be in her early 20s, came after the Indian High Commission in Islamabad sent her a photograph of a family, whom she said she recognised. AFP PHOTO/ RIZWAN TABASSUM (Photo credit should read RIZWAN TABASSUM/AFP/Getty Images)
Indian woman, Geeta (R) takes blessing from Abdul Sattar Edhi, the chairman of Edhi Foundation in Karachi on October 15, 2015. A mute and deaf Indian girl who has been stuck in Pakistan for more than a decade because she cannot remember where she came from may have finally identified her family, the charity looking after her said. The new ray of hope for the woman known only as Geeta, believed to be in her early 20s, came after the Indian High Commission in Islamabad sent her a photograph of a family, whom she said she recognised. AFP PHOTO/ RIZWAN TABASSUM (Photo credit should read RIZWAN TABASSUM/AFP/Getty Images)
Indian national Geeta at charitable Edhi Foundation in Karachi, Pakistan, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015. Geeta, who accidently crossed the border into Pakistan as a child nearly 12 years ago will return home soon, an Indian official said Thursday. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan)
Indian national Geeta prays at charitable Edhi Foundation in Karachi, Pakistan, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015. Geeta, who accidently crossed the border into Pakistan as a child nearly 12 years ago will return home soon, an Indian official said Thursday. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan)
Indian national Geeta, right, who is deaf and mute, communicates with her colleague at charitable Edhi Foundation in Karachi, Pakistan, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015. Geeta, who accidently crossed the border into Pakistan as a child nearly 12 years ago will return home soon, an Indian official said Thursday. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan)
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NEW DELHI (AP) — An Indian woman who accidentally crossed the border into Pakistan as a child nearly 12 years ago will return home soon, an Indian official said Thursday.

Vikas Swarup, India's External Affairs Ministry spokesman, said the woman named Geeta would come after her travel documents are sorted out.

She will return to her family after a DNA test in India, Swarup said.

Geeta is deaf and mute and while in Pakistan she has been looked after by the charitable Edhi Foundation in Karachi.

In her room, she prays before a tiny temple filled with Hindu gods.

Anwar Kazmi, a spokesman for the Edhi Foundation, said in Karachi that Geeta would go back to her country on Oct. 26.

He said Geeta was around 11 when she inadvertently entered Pakistan.

"Since then, we have been trying to trace her family. Finally, we have succeeded and Geeta is very happy. We have told her that her travel documents are being prepared," he said.

"She recognized her family members through pictures, which were provided to us by the Indian High Commission," he said.

A man identified by Geeta as her father says she was lost in a village fair, a New Delhi news channel said. Both countries have villages close to the border, and Indians and Pakistanis have often strayed across the boundary.

"Geeta will be back in India soon. We have located her family. She will be handed over to them only after the DNA test," India's External Affairs Sushma Swaraj tweeted Thursday.

Swarup said the government has identified two institutions which are meant for people like Geeta with disabilities in case the DNA test was not conclusive.

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Associated Press writer Munir Ahmed contributed to this report from Islamabad, Pakistan.

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