Pakistan grants visa to Indian citizen to visit brother separated at Partition 74 years ago


ISLAMABAD, JAN 29: The Pakistan High Commission in India on Friday issued a visa to an Indian senior citizen, allowing him to meet his family members in Pakistan, with whom he has separated 74 years ago due to Partition in 1947.

“Today, Pakistan High Commission issues visa to Sika Khan to visit his brother, Mohammed Siddique, and other family members in Pakistan,” the embassy announced on Twitter.

The two brothers, separated in 1947, were recently reunited after 74 years at the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor.

A video of the siblings meeting each other at the Kartarpur Corridor had gone viral on social media, making people on both sides of the border shed happy tears.

Media had earlier reported that Siddique, a resident of Phugaran village on the outskirts of Faisalabad district, said he had contacted a Sikh social worker from Canada two years ago. He said the social worker had helped reunite the two brothers.

According to the report, Siddique is 80 while Khan is 78 years old.

According to Siddique, his brother and sister had gone to his grandparents’ house with his mother in 1947.

“A civil war was raging on and my father and other family members decided to migrate immediately to save lives and we came to Pakistan,” he said.

In its announcement today, the Pakistan High Commission said Khan also met with Chargé d’Affaires Aftab Hasan Khan and interacted with the mission’s officers. “I am so happy. I have received the visa. I will travel now and meet (my brother),” Sika Khan said in a video message recorded at the embassy.

The story of the two brothers is a powerful illustration of how the historic opening of the visa-free Kartarpur Sahib Corridor by Pakistan is bringing people closer to each other, the High Commission said.

Prime Minister Imran Khan had inaugurated the Kartarpur Corridor in 2019 on the 550th birth anniversary of the founder of Sikhism Baba Guru Nanak — an initiative lauded by the Sikh community in India as well as across the world.

During his visit in February 2020, UN Secretary General António Guterres had called Kartarpur Corridor a “Corridor of Hope” which allows visa-free crossing to Sikhs between nearby holy sites.