An Indo-Pak love story in the time of tensions, with a no-entry twist

Published: 03rd November 2016 12:58 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd November 2016 10:07 AM   |  A+A-

Mumbai-born Purvi Thacker (L) with her Pakistani friend Sarah Munir

Mumbai-born Purvi Thacker (L) with her Pakistani friend Sarah Munir | Facebook

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: It is a love story transcending borders, but with a twist. The Indian bride-to-be wants her best friend from Pakistan to be by her side on the big day. But they got a taste of the acrimonious relations between India and Pakistan as the visa of Sarah Munir, the bridesmaid from Karachi, was rejected.
Since then, her best friend from this side of the border has started a campaign on social media to bring her to India for her December 19 wedding.

Sarah, a journalist from Karachi, met Mumbai’s Purvi Thacker in 2011 when they both attended Columbia Journalism School’s graduate program. Since then, the two have served as each other’s support systems in New York where they live, far away from their homes in the subcontinent. Sarah was preparing to attend her best friend’s wedding in Mumbai next month and that is when they felt the heat of tensions between India and Pakistan.

Sarah’s visa was rejected even as she has already been to India to visit Purvi’s family. Undeterred, Purvi has started a campaign on social media “Bring Sarah to India”. “That my best friend cannot be there for what will be my biggest day is something that I cannot come to terms with. Forget the hustling, the paperwork, the months of coordination and prayers—we didn’t know that it would end with a rejection,” Purvi said in her post on Facebook that has since then gone viral.  

Purvi is hoping that their stories will have a “silver lining” despite the “red tape” seeking to instill a sense of division and frustration in them. 

Purvi wrote, “Never did wars, religion, shared history, nationality or even cricket matches come between us. It was not until Sarah’s visa application to attend my wedding in December was denied on October 31 that we were reminded that politics of hate and fear will create differences even where there are none among ordinary people like us.”  

Purvi even contacted the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Twitter. Sushma, known for her prompt responses, has not replied to her tweet yet.  The minister, however, tweeted asking people to contact her only in case of an emergency. She said, “In distress @MEAQuery; Passports @passportsevamea @CPVIndia;Visa @CPVIndia; Pl contact me in case of #SOS.”

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