Bonhomie filled the air at Sutton House, the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) vice-chancellor's official residence, on Saturday when two members of a Pakistan delegation, which is on a visit to the city, found a chance to interact with an old family friend.
Hafiz Abdul Qayyum, a professor at the University of Agriculture in Faisalabad, Pakistan, got an opportunity to meet the son of an Indian with whom he had forged a dear friendship in 1982.
The 87-year-old professor, who was with his son Professor Khalid Mustafa on Saturday, met Ludhiana resident Harpreet Sandhu, whose father Trilochan Singh Sandhu, a former estate officer of PAU, had met Prof Qayyum during his visit to Pakistan in 1982. "I couldn't have asked for a better visit to India," Prof Qayyum said, after meeting Harpreet.
Recollecting his association with the Sandhu family, Prof Qayyum said that whenever Harpreet's father visited Faislabad, he would stay at their home. On how they became family friends after the Partition, Prof Qayyum said Harpreet's grandfather had served as the tehsildar of Chak 51, a village in Pakistan Punjab. "When Harpreet's father, Trilochan Sandhu, wanted to visit the village, I accompanied him," he said.
Though Prof Qayyum could not meet Trilochan Sandhu today, he said the meeting only made the friendship stronger. "My son and Harpreet met for the first time. I couldn't have asked for more," he said.
Harpreet, too, echoed Prof Qayyum's sentiments. "Now, I and Hafiz will make the friendship, our fathers had forged, stronger," he said. Later, Harpreet Singh presented a book 'German Indian Law: A Comparative Study' to Prof Qayyum.