Siblings who’ve been separated for 71 years finally meet

2018-12-01 18:01
PHOTO: CATERS/WWW.MAGAZINEFEATURES.CO.ZA.

PHOTO: CATERS/WWW.MAGAZINEFEATURES.CO.ZA.

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Two sisters and their brother have been reunited after more than seven decades of being apart.

The two sisters last saw their brother 71 years ago and the three reunited in an emotional meeting in Pakistan.

The siblings were separated during the partition of India in 1947 when the Punjab province, where they were from, was split between India and Pakistan.

The family had been living in the village of Paracha during the bloody conflict between Muslim and Hindus that led to the partition of the state.

After partition the family had to move to Pakistan but, from a total of four children, a boy and a girl were lost and left behind in India.

While the fate of the little girl isn’t known, mother Allah Rakhhi managed to learn the whereabouts of her son, Bayanth, by contacting old neighbours.

They found he’d been adopted by a Sikh family and given then name Sardar Bayanth Singh.

He was raised according to the Sikh religion.

They got in contact via letters and telephonically after Allah got a tip about his whereabouts.

But the three siblings hadn’t managed to visit one another until now.

The touching reunion took place during celebrations in the Punjab province to mark the 549th birthday of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak.

Many Sikhs attend the celebrations as a pilgrimage to Guru Nanak’s birthplace.

Speaking to the media, Bayanth’s sister Ulfat Bibi said she now wants to be allowed to travel to India to meet her brother’s wife and her nieces and nephews.

Ulfat and the other sister, Miraj have appealed to Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan for an extension of their brother’s visa if he can’t be granted Pakistani nationality.

British India was divided after the British administration decided the creation of two independent countries would be the best solution to stop the bloodshed between Muslims and Hindus, bringing an end to almost two centuries of British rule on the subcontinent.

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