Coming Up Wed 9:00 PM  AEDT
Coming Up Live in 
Live
Punjabi radio

Emotional homecoming for 82-year-old Indian as he visits ancestral village in Pakistan

Piara Singh visited Pakistan the second time last week. Source: Supplied

The 82-year-old from India felt 'emotionally shattered' when he was told his childhood friend who he wanted to meet since 1947, had passed away.

Piara Singh, aged 82, is on his second visit to Pakistan since its creation in 1947. Like millions of others, the partition of India forced him to leave what until then was his only home and made him a refugee overnight.

Mr Singh’s family left their village Vehari, near Multan (in the Pakistani state of Punjab), for India back then. He now lives in Batala, near Gurdaspur in Indian Punjab.

Eager to rekindle his childhood memories, he went back to Pakistan, which he first visited 15 years ago for the first time.

He was granted a visa-on-arrival under the Bilateral India-Pakistan Visa Agreement 2012 that was signed between the two countries in 2012 and operationalised in 2013.

This agreement enables citizens of India and Pakistan aged 65 and above to apply for a visa-on-arrival to enter either country.

SBS Punjabi caught up with him in Pakistani side of Punjab.

ps
L-R: Masood Mallhi with Piara Singh
Supplied

“I was around nine years old when India was partitioned. At that time, Dara was the only friend my age. I longed to meet him, so wrote several letters to him before my first visit to Pakistan in 2004," he said.

"But we couldn’t meet as he was travelling. This time around, after 15 years, when I visited our ancestral village again, I was told Dara had died. My hopes of seeing my childhood friend immediately got shattered,” Mr Singh recalls.

Mr Singh laments the hostility that has pervaded the India - Pakistan relationship for decades now.

“Both countries have spent money on making bombs to threaten each other. They should rather invest that money in improving the lives of their people. I’m deeply thankful to Pakistan PM Imran Khan and our very own Navjot Singh Sidhu for the Kartarpur Corridor,” Mr Singh comments.

“What wrong did Sidhu do by hugging Pakistan army chief? Didn’t that hug make the Kartarpur Corridor possible,” asks Piara Singh.

He is a resident of Batala, which is almost 30 km from Dera Baba Nanak, from where the newly-inaugurated 4-km-long Kartarpur Corridor starts.

This corridor enables pilgrims from India to walk to Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib — across the border in Pakistan – which is the final resting place of Guru Nanak, the first guru of the Sikhs. 

Click on the player at the top of the page to listen to this interview in Punjabi.

Listen to SBS Punjabi Monday to Friday at 9 pm. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Coming up next

# TITLE RELEASED TIME MORE
Emotional homecoming for 82-year-old Indian as he visits ancestral village in Pakistan 29/11/2019 10:12 ...
64-year-old Jeet Singh wins gold at Victorian Country Championship, claims top spot in Athletic League 27/01/2021 06:15 ...
Indian man loses $6,500 in an alleged used-car scam on Facebook Marketplace 27/01/2021 07:51 ...
26 January 2021 Australian News in Punjabi: Over 12,000 migrants became Australian citizens today 26/01/2021 10:07 ...
Pakistan Diary: Prime Minister Imran Khan appeals developed nations to give debt relief to poor countries 26/01/2021 07:11 ...
‘Historic’ tractor march rocks New Delhi as farmers’ protest intensifies on India’s Republic Day 26/01/2021 10:00 ...
Experts push for COVID-19 misinformation laws 26/01/2021 07:03 ...
Should there be a national school starting age? 26/01/2021 07:00 ...
Punjabi Diary: Tight security for farmers' tractor rally on India's Republic Day 25/01/2021 08:26 ...
Australian News in Punjabi 25 January 2021: Was today too hot to handle? Tomorrow will be hotter as heatwave continues in Australia 25/01/2021 10:50 ...
View More