We are accustomed to seeing and reading about heart-wrenching stories of skirmishes and escalating tensions between India-Pakistan, in the news. Thankfully, during these troubled times, there are a few instances of love.
Naqi Ali Khan (27), who grew up in the bylanes of Lucknow, married his Pakistani fiancée, Sabahat Fatima (24), who is from Karachi. The ‘nikah’ was solemnised by Maulana Kalbe Sadiq, a Shia cleric and vice-president of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board.
Cross-border India-Pakistan tensions led to visa hassles for the bride, due to which the wedding was delayed by two years. Sabahat then took the initiative to contact Sushma Swaraj, via social media. The Union Minister for External Affairs promptly intervened, and the bride was granted a visa.
Naqi’s elder brother, Muzaffar, spoke to TOI and said, “Our families are related, but were divided when the two countries underwent partition. The groom’s maternal grandmother and the bride’s paternal grandmother were sisters and lived together in Lucknow before partition.”
Thus, was scripted an epic love story, between two people who were eager to start their lives together. Naqi and Sabahat spent Sunday watching a Hindi movie, in which the female lead plays a Pakistani, and the male lead an Indian.
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The grateful couple is happy to be together and said, “Both of us are extremely grateful to Sushma Swaraj for this great gift. We are hopeful that the Indian government will help us in getting Sabahat Indian nationality as well.”