"Our culture is the same"
Millions were displaced and lost their homes during Partition and Indian citizen Reena Varma was one of them.
To the delight of the 90-year-old Indian woman, she was allowed to revisit her old home after 75 years.
According to NDTV, Reena Varma reached Pakistan on July 16, 2022, to visit her ancestral home.
As part of a goodwill gesture, the Pakistani High Commission has issued a three-month visa to the Indian woman.
She arrived in Pakistan through the Wagah-Attari border to see her house located in Prem Niwas in Rawalpindi.
Reena reminisced of a multi-cultural diverse community that was thriving in Pindi before the partition as she was driven from the border to Rawalpindi.
“My siblings had friends who would come over to our house from various communities, including Muslims,” she said, remembering that “our house-help was also a diverse mix of people”.
In 1947, after the partition, her family moved to India.
She was 15 years old at the time, and though nearly 75 years have passed since then she said she “could not remove her ancestral home, her neighbourhood and the streets from her heart”.
Reena Varma had applied for a visa in 1965 to visit Pakistan, but she says she could not acquire permission amid high tensions due to the war between the two neighbours.
She still managed to visit Lahore to watch a cricket match between Pakistan and England as Pakistan had issued visas to Indians to watch the match.
Reena Varma claims that she had expressed the desire to visit her ancestral home on social media in 2021, upon which a Pakistani citizen named Sajjad Haider contacted her and sent her images of the house.
This 90-year-old Indian woman was finally able to visit her birthplace in Pakistan, 75 years after her family had to migrate. pic.twitter.com/vsxFFbMwkv
— DW News (@dwnews) July 22, 2022
In a video on social media, she claimed that she had applied for a visa to visit the place in 2021 which was rejected.
The 90-year-old then turned to social media and expressed her desire to visit Pakistan.
She also tagged the now Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar in her post.
She was welcomed with the backdrop of drums and flower petals as a crowd gathered to watch.
Talking to the media, she only had a message of love to promote.
She said: “Only the youngsters can change the government. Because these are neighbouring countries, everyone should live together.
“Our culture is the same, and so is everything else — everyone wants to unite, wants to live with love.”
Delighted to see this, netizens called it an Indo-Pak dream come true.