2 Pakistani brides cross Wagah border to reunite with their Indian husbands
- Nepal Singh told HT that he was very happy to meet his wife but at the same time was also upset since his younger brother’s wife could not get a visa.
On international women’s day on March 8, two cross border couples, living separately on the two different sides of the Indo-Pak border were finally reunited, when the two Pakistani brides arrived at their in-laws home in Barmer in Rajasthan two years after their wedding. Chagan Kanwar, wife of Mahendra Singh and Kailash Bai, wife of Nepal Singh crossed over to India on Monday through Wagah-Attari border along with some family members. They were welcomed by their waiting husbands at the border.
After crossing the border they passed through a security check and a Covid-19 test. Nepal’s wife Kailash came to India along with her mother and brother while Mahendra’s wife Chagan Kanwar arrived with her father.
Nepal Singh told HT that he was very happy to meet his wife but at the same time was also upset since his younger brother’s wife could not get a visa. “I am thankful to Union minister Kailash Choudhary who helped us at every stage and extended his full support in getting visa to my wife.” He further said that initially his wife was allowed entry only through the air route but since they could not afford the air travel, the Union minister again helped in getting permission for her to cross through Wagah-Attari road route. His brother Vikram Singh’s wife, Pakistani girl Nirmala Bai, was denied visa by the consulate on the grounds that her passport was blacklisted, said officials.
Mahendra Singh said that after his wife was denied a visa, he ran from pillar to post but his plight was ignored. “I am very thankful to Kailash Choudhary, who not only understands our plight but helped us in every possible manner,” said Singh.
27-year-old Nepal Singh Bhati and his 25-year-old sibling Vikarm Singh Bhati, residents of Baiyaa in Jaisalmer district, last January got married into Pakistani Hindu families, living across the border. After the marriage, both stayed in Pakistan for a while before returning to India without their brides as the Indian consulate denied visas to them on technical grounds.
Nepal got married to the daughter of Ranjeet Singh Sodha on January 22, 2019, while Vikarm wed the daughter of Taneraj Singh Sodha on January 25, 2019. Post marriage, they stayed with their in-laws for about three months before returning to India without their spouses. In December, last year, Vikarm’s wife delivered a baby boy.
Mahendra, a resident of Khejad Ka Paar in Barmer, got married to a Pakistan girl in April 2017. Both have been living apart since Chagan Kanwar was denied a visa by the Indian consulate. Kanwar is from Sinoi village in Amarkot district of Sindh. Mahendra’s story is more interesting as it is full of twists.
Mahendra’s marriage with Chagan was earlier scheduled for March 8, 2019. But it was deferred due to the tension between the two countries following the Indian Air Force’s air strike on a terrorist hideout in Pakistan’s Balakot. Later, Mahendra went to Pakistan in April 2019 and got married on April 25, 2019. However, he had to return alone without his Chagan since the Indian consulate denied visa to her wife on technical grounds.
For the past two years these couples were forced to live separately on the two sides of the border. They recently approached Union minister of state for agriculture and BJP MP from Barmer, Kailash Choudhary, who intervened on their behalf, making the external affairs ministry swing into action.