"It will always remind us of our hardships at Attari"
A Pakistani family stuck at the Attari-Wagah border in India for over two months have named their newborn baby ‘Border’.
Nimbu Bai, her husband Bala Ram and their newborn son have all been unable to cross the border due to paperwork issues.
The family are among hundreds of travellers who arrived in India back in 2020 but had been unable to return home.
This was because they had crossed into the neighbouring country before the Covid-19 restrictions had been implemented.
As a result, many were left stranded in India with some taking up informal jobs such as stone carving in order to survive.
Others such as Border’s parents had been camping along the border, desperately waiting to return back home to Pakistan.
The baby was born on Thursday, December 2, 2021. His mother said:
“My son’s name is Border.
“We gave him this name because he was born along the border.”
Meanwhile, his father told the Times of India:
“It will always remind us of our hardships at Attari international border, especially spending cold nights out in the open.”
The couple has four other children including daughter Bharti, a reference to Bharat, the Hindi name for India.
The pair had made pilgrimages within India, one of the only reasons for entry permitted between the two countries.
However, they were required to submit a fresh coronavirus test report and exit letter upon return as their visas had expired.
Ram said that he had appealed to the Indian government to facilitate their journey home but had so far been unsuccessful.
“We are told that one family alone couldn’t be sent back and we would have to stay till our visa or exit letter arrives.”
The documents arrived on Monday, December 6, 2021, and hundreds were allowed back into Pakistan but not Border’s family.
Their wait has become longer since they need his birth documents and passport from India, without which they cannot enter.
India’s Punjab Police’s protocol officer Arun Pal confirmed:
“On Monday, all the other Pakistani Hindus crossed over to Pakistan via the Wagah border, except the newborn and his family.
“The Pakistani officials have refused to accept the baby without the necessary documents.”
Another Pakistani citizen stuck at the frontier, Lagya Ram, named his son ‘Bharat’ when he was born in December 2020.