Press Trust of india

Christian family separated during Partition reunites at Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan

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Lahore: The second-generation members of a Christian family that got separated during the Partition were reunited after 35 years amid an outpour of emotions at the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, underscoring the success of the visa-free corridor in bringing people of India and Pakistan closer.

Videos and images of the family’s tearful reunion, which shows them hugging and talking to each other has gone viral, a poignant, bittersweet moment that has tugged at the heartstrings of many and also sent social media into a meltdown.

On Friday, Shahid Raiq Mithu, a resident of Mananawala in Nankana district in Pakistan arrived with 40 members of his family and met Sonu Mithu, a resident of Shahpur Dogran, a village in Ajnala tehsil in Amritsar district and his eight members.

Mithu said his late grandfather Iqbal Masih had migrated to Pakistan during the Partition, while Iqbal’s brother Inayat stayed back in India.

“Around 35 years ago, Inayat visited our house in Manawala in Nankana Sahib. I was seven then. He and my grandfather (Iqbal) chatted and reminisced about their childhood,” he said, while adding that none of the four brothers are alive.

“My grandfather died two months ago while Inayat passed away seven years ago. Their two elder brothers also died,” Mithu, who deals in furniture business in Nankana Sahib, told PTI.

“After Anyat Masih’s visit, it was the first time that the families of four brothers living across the border met at the Kartarpur Sahib. We want Prime Minister Imran Khan to help us issue visas for India so that we can go to Pind Shahpur Dogran Tehsil Ajnala, Amritsar to meet our relatives,” he said.

Mithu said the family had lost touch with their relatives in India, but came in touch with Bhupinder Singh Lovely of Nankana Sahib, who runs a Youtube channel called Lehr, who helped them get in touch with relatives from across the border.

“Around a year ago my interview was aired by a Punjabi news channel in which I talked about the separation of our elders during the Partition, which was watched by our relatives in Indian Punjab, who contacted us and we planned a reunion at Kartarpur,” Mithu explained.

“The grandchildren of four brothers yesterday (Friday) had a reunion meeting at Kartarpur Sahib after 35 years. We are thankful to the YouTube channel, Punjabi Lehr, that helped reunite after over three decades,” Mithu told PTI on Saturday.

The Youtube channel has over 531,000 subscribers, with the aim being “to bridge the gap between the peoples of East and West Punjab, created by the Partition.

The relatives chatted and shared stories of their elders.

The Mithu family members also visited different parts of Gurdwara Darbar Sahib and had lunch together at the Baba Guru Nanak Langar Hall. They also visited a local market for shopping.

The Kartarpur administration also served sweets to the families.

The Mithu family also visited the Gurudwara and had lunch at the Baba Guru Nanak Langar Hall. Later, they also visited a local market.

Last month, two brothers separated during Partition were also reunited at Kartarpur corridor after seven decades.

Pakistan issued the visa to the Indian after the emotional reunion video of the two brothers went viral in Pakistan and India.

The Kartarpur Corridor links Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan, the final resting place of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev, with the Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district in India’s Punjab state.

The 4 km-long corridor provides visa-free access to Indian Sikh pilgrims to visit the Darbar Sahib.

In November 2019, Prime Minister Khan formally inaugurated the Kartarpur Corridor as part of the commemoration of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak at a colourful ceremony, paving the way for Indian Sikh pilgrims to visit one of their religion’s holiest sites in Pakistan without needing a visa.

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