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Punjabi Lehr reunited over 200 families from India and Pakistan, says blogger who connected 2 brothers 74 years after partition: The Tribune India


Lahore, January 15

Much like the famous Kartarpur Corridor that connects India and Pakistan, Punjabi Lehr, the Pakistan-based YouTube channel that brought together two brothers separated by partition after 74 years and brought tears to their eyes, brought together more of 200 friends and families across the border.

Separated at Indo-Pakistan partition, brothers reunite in Kartarpur after 74 years

A video of the tearful reunion, showing the elderly brothers, one from India and the other from Pakistan, hugging each other in Kartarpur’s visa-free corridor this week, has gone viral.

The emotional meeting of Saddique Khan, 84, from Pakistani Punjab, and his brother from Indian Punjab, Habib alias Sikka Khan, lasted more than an hour before the brothers returned home.

The reunion of the two octogenarian brothers who were separated during the partition in 1947, apart from being a landmark event for pilgrims to Kartarpur, also brought to light the Pakistan-based YouTube channel which helped them meet and connect. kiss after 74 years.

Nasir Dhillon, who runs his YouTube channel with over 531,000 subscribers, says the channel’s aim is “to bridge the gap between the people of East and West Punjab, created by the partition”.

“With the help of people from both sides of Indian and Pakistani Punjab, we have reunited over 200 friends and families across the border,” Dhillon told PTI.

“People on both sides of the border share their stories of separation from immediate family members, relatives and friends during the bloody turnout riots in 1947, and a connection is found through such videos ( stories) that help reunite with loved ones, friends and ancestral homes,” said Dhillon, who runs the channel with Nankana Sahib’s Bhupinder Singh Lovely.

The 37-year-old from Faisalabad who served as a police officer for 12 years in the Punjab Police Force started his YouTube channel about four years ago.

He said his grandfather gave him the motivation to start the channel to help reunite families and friends separated by partition and promote love between people across the border.

“My grandfather was from the Indian village of Punjab, Karan Taran Panjwar. He would tell me stories about the score that sparked my interest in doing something related to reuniting people across the border,” he said.

“My grandfather and my father had the desire to visit the village but unfortunately they left the world without this desire being fulfilled,” he said.

Dhillon, a father of three and active in real estate, said he too would like to visit his ancestral village if the Indian government grants him a visa.

Uploading a clip of Saddique Khan, aged over 84, from Faisalabad (about 130 km from Lahore) about two years ago to the channel helped find his younger brother on another side of Punjab .

This week Saddique met his long lost brother Habib aka Sikka Khan at Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur in an emotional reunion after 74 years. During a meeting lasting more than an hour, Saddique, who was 10 years old in 1947, tried to recall her memories related to her family.

Young Sikka was one and a half years old at that time. “My mother, the young Habib who was on her knees and his younger sister were at my grandparents when the riots broke out. My father and I left for Pakistan in a chaotic situation. Along the way, my father was killed,” Dhillon said, citing Saddique.

Dhillon said that about two years ago, when he posted Saddique’s interview online about his brother lost during partition, a Canadian doctor contacted him and informed him that he belonged to the Phulewal village of Indian Punjab and helped find Sikka.

“The two brothers were then connected by WhatsApp video call and talked for hours about their family,” Dhillon said.

Sikka told Saddique that their mother committed suicide by jumping into a canal because she had developed a mental disorder after losing her husband, son and other relatives. Their sister also died a few years after the partition, he said.

Saddique was raised by his uncle while Sikka was cared for by a Sikh family. Saddique married and had children and grandchildren while Sikka remained single, he said.

“Since Sikka didn’t even have a passport and getting an Indian visa for Saddique was not easy, it was decided that the former should reach Kartarpur Sahib through the visa-free corridor,” Dhillon said.

He said the two brothers could have been united more than a year ago in the hall if the restrictions had not been imposed by India due to Covid-19.

Saddique called on Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan to help his brother obtain a visa for a longer period so he could travel to Pakistan and live with him, he said.

“Now the two brothers are talking to each other on the phone and can meet again using the hallway,” he said, urging the Indian and Pakistani governments to allow elderly people visa-free travel to each other. other.

Dhillon also spoke of a number of stories of Indian Sikhs who have visited their ancestral homes in Pakistan’s Punjab province in recent times.

The Kartarpur Corridor connects Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan, the final resting place of the founder of Sikhism Guru Nanak Dev, to the Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district in the Indian state of Punjab.

The 4 km long corridor provides visa-free access for Indian Sikh pilgrims to visit the Darbar Sahib.

In November 2019, Prime Minister Khan officially opened the Kartarpur Corridor as part of the commemoration of the 550th anniversary of the birth of Guru Nanak in a colorful ceremony, paving the way for Indian Sikh pilgrims to visit one of the their religion’s holiest sites in Pakistan without the need for a visa.