Pakistani women who married across the border are upbeat over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Lahore, believing that better ties could ease visa and citizenship rules.
Among the hopefuls is Shrishti Jhamnani (31), who has visited her parents home in Pakistan’s Sindh only thrice since her marriage to Kota-based businessman Bharat Jhamnani in 2005.
Shrishti is optimistic that Modi’s impromptu visit would improve relations between the two countries, thus helping her bid for Indian citizenship.
“The improvement in Indo-Pak ties would not only ease visa norms but also help brides from Pakistan who are settled in India and seeking citizenship,” she told Hindustan Times.
Anila (31), who married Azmuddin Mahmood from Bundi in 2007 and has visited her home in Karachi only two times since, is among those who wish that people could visit their folks across the border more frequently.
“My parents arrived from Pakistan for a wedding in the family last month but had to go back after just 25 days as the visa limit was for one month. This should be at least two months, but that can happen only if better Indo-Pakistan relations bring about relaxation in visa norms,” she said.
Anila’s aunt Raziya (58), who married Abdul Haneef Zaidi from Kota in 1978, said the families never visited reach other much over the years because of the ups and downs in bilateral relations.
Shrishti’s father-in-law Parasram Jhamnani says in Kota there are at least four more brides from Pakistan who face problems because of visa restrictions.
“Getting a visa to the US or UK is easier than getting one to Pakistan...It is tragic for people who have relatives across the border”, Jhamnani said.
In Kota and Bundi areas of Rajasthan , there are also at least six families whose daughters found husbands in Pakistan.
Anila’s father-in-law Noorudin ‘Advocate’, who is also the chairperson of the Waqf Committee in Bundi, says his sisters and nieces were married in Pakistan and could seldom attend family functions.
“Modi’s visit has certainly given a ray of hope to these families, he said.