"It’s good to be in Pakistan, it’s good to come from India, home of my parents and grandparents."
After a busy three days in India, Sadiq Khan has now entered Pakistan for his official trip. He crossed the Wagah border between the two countries by foot – the first time a British politician has done this in recent times.
The London mayor crossed the border on 6th December 2017. It marks as the latest step in this first trade mission to both countries.
While the journey had personal significance to Sadiq, a BBC reporter posed an awkward question to him. As he walked through the border, the individual asked:
“What does it feel like coming home?” Without hesitation, the politician replied: “Home’s South London, mate.”
Afterwards, he explained more on the importance the location held for him and his family. He said:
“It’s good to be in Pakistan, it’s good to come from India, home of my parents and grandparents. Obviously, there’s an emotional connection for me, bearing in mind my connections to this great part of the world.”
The London mayor shared the moment on Twitter, saying:
Today I crossed the border from India into Pakistan on foot – becoming the first British politician to make this journey in recent history. pic.twitter.com/xXKTjiCUBy
— Mayor of London (@MayorofLondon) December 6, 2017
The border crossing earned its name from the nearby village of Wagah, located by the accepted Radcliffe Line, created for the 1947 Partition. During this historical, yet tragic event, citizens would have endured a long trek, stretching immense miles.
Many had to abandon their homes, passing through newly-created divisions between India and Pakistan. This resulted in many suffering hardships along the way, with tragic consequences.
With 2017 marking the 70th anniversary, it seems only fitting that Sadiq would make this landmark.
Indeed, his family is from an Indian Muslim background, with his grandparents and parents settling in Pakistan after Partition. His parents then relocated to the UK in 1968, with the politician born in 1970.
While Sadiq visited India, it hailed as a successful leg of the trip. First meeting with a host of Bollywood stars, he aimed to promote the important message of: “London is open.” Creating new business links between the UK capital and South Asia.
In Pakistan, he has visited many significant sites such as the Golden Temple and met with many political leaders.
After making such a momentous milestone at the Wagah border, many will keep a close eye on Sadiq’s Twitter to find out more on his official trip.