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I-Day treat: Pak girl marries Indian boy

Desiree Anthony, a Christian from Karachi, married Sandeep Sharma, a software engineer from Indore.

india Updated: Aug 17, 2006 16:31 IST

A Pakistani girl and an Indian boy, who had been dating online for over three years, finally said "I do" in Madhya Pradesh's commercial capital Indore on Independence Day.

Desiree Anthony, a Christian from Karachi, met Sandeep Sharma, a software engineer from Indore, on the Internet on July 4, 2003.

Desiree was issued a visa to visit India only after she wrote to President APJ Kalam.

Sharma, who was engrossed in an online discussion on the demolition of the disputed structure in Ayodhya, noticed a pal in Desiree who backed him up.

The two got chatting even though Sandeep was unaware of her gender for many weeks.

"When I learnt she was a woman I proposed to her. There was no response from her, but we continued to chat," Sandeep told the agency.

In October 2004, Sharma mailed his picture to Desiree, who responded almost three months later by sending her picture. The two grew fond of each other and decided to marry.

As the relations between India and Pakistan were tense, Desiree and Sandeep decided to meet up in Nepal in February this year along with their parents.

The two were married according to the Hindu rites there.

However, they could not register their marriage there. Nepal permits registration of marriages only a month after the ceremony.

Both the families had to leave Nepal within a week because of the growing Maoist insurgency.

Back in Indore, Sandeep ran from pillar to post to get a visa for his Pakistani wife.

"I met officials and leaders but no one helped. Then Desiree and I decided to seek the president's help.

We faxed him letters telling him about our dilemma. Within a week Desiree got a call from the president's office and a visa was issued to her on July 11," Sanjay said.

However, Desiree's visa is valid only for three months.

Desiree reached Mumbai on August 9 and got married according to Christian customs on Aug 15 in Indore.

"I hope my visa period is extended and I am allowed to live with my husband permanently," Desiree said.

"I also wish that personal relations between India and Pakistan improve, and people understand that not everyone who crosses the border is a terrorist," she said.

First Published: Aug 17, 2006 16:31 IST