JAIPUR: It was a moment to cherish as two Pakistani Hindu women, married to Rajput youths in Rajasthan, were finally reunited with their husbands on Tuesday, two years after their weddings.
When they arrived at their in-laws' homes in Barmer and Jaisalmer districts, the young brides were welcomed in a traditional way in a festive atmosphere full of joy and emotion.
Chagan Kanwar, wife of Mahendra Singh, and Kailash Bai, wife of Nepal Singh Bhati had got married in January 2019. But the two brides could not come with their grooms to India after marriage as they could not get Visas. Their weddings were quickly followed by the Pulwama terror attack and the Balakot airstrike. Given the India-Pakistan tensions that erupted, the young couples were forced to live separately on the two sides of the border.
The brides were delighted when they finally got their visas. Chagan Kanwar remarked, “Despite being married for over two years, I was stuck in Pakistan. With the visa being denied, my parents were deeply worried about my future. Now that I’ve come over to India, I finally feel as if I am married. The last two years were very tough but now I am very happy to have come over to India.”
Her husband, Mahendra Singh was also thrilled. “The last two years were like a nightmare for us. We stayed in Pakistan for three months after our wedding but we could not get a visa for my wife. I came back to India alone but we kept making all possible efforts to get my bride to India. I am very happy now and it feels as if I’ve just got married today.”
The two brides in question were given the Long Term Visa (LTV) by the Indian consulate in Karachi, enabling them to travel up to the Wagah border from where they entered India on Monday.
The Foreign Ministry provides Long Term Visas (LTV) to give relief to persecuted Hindus of Pakistan and enables them to cross over to India. Eventually, such Hindus from Pakistan are provided Indian nationality after seven years.
Earlier, the brides wanted to come by train that connects Munabao on the Indian side with Khokhrapar in Pakistan. But the train services between the two countries were discontinued in 2019 owing to strained relations.
However, while the two brides got reunited with their husbands, a third one still awaits a visa. Vikram Singh Bhati, the younger brother of Nepal Singh Bhati whose wife has come from Pakistan, is still waiting for his wife to cross the border. Vikram’s wife, Nirmala Bai is yet to get a visa though she has already delivered a baby boy. Nirmala Bai’s passport has been blacklisted due to some technical reasons.
Vikram and his family from Baiyaa village in the Jaisalmer district have recently approached Union Minister Kailash Choudhary to intervene on their behalf. Kailash Choudhary remarked, “After these three cases were brought to my knowledge, we approached the Pakistan High Commission many times. As the two brides have now come over to India, I am confident that even the third one will soon be able to get the visa.”