India 86-year-old Sikh Pilgrim Visited His Birth Place In Pakistan After 64 Years


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
86-year-old Sikh pilgrim visited his birth place in Pakistan after 64 years
By Gurpreet Singh Mehak

FATEHGARH SAHIB: A Sikh pilgrim Nidhan Singh(86) who along with his daughter is visiting currently Pakistan to mark Baisakhi was allowed to visit his birth place in Jehlum region of Pakistan.

Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik has permitted Nidhan Singh, who is a part of Sikh pilgrims Jatha, to visit his place. Dal Khalsa Spokesperson Kanwarpal Singh while hailing this decision of Pakistan government said that it was a good will gesture to promote harmony among India and Pakistan. He said the Interior Minister in a good will gesture not only accepted the request of Nidhan Singh but also declared him his personal guest.

Talking to this correspondent over phone Sunday, Jameel Ahmad, who belongs to Kasoor, the place near Bulle Shah’s place in Pakistan said visa restrictions, rules and conditions were main obstacles for scores of Sikhs and Muslims who wanted to visit their birthplace in Pakistan and India. Jameel who visited Rouza Sharif Sirhind of district Fatehgarh Sahib in February this year said his relatives lives in Patiala. He said government of both countries should try to understand feelings of people of both countries. He said during his February visit to the Rouza Sharif he could not visit Patiala to meet his relatives due to visa restricts as his visa was only valid for Rouza Sharif.

It may be mentioned here Nidhan Singh after reaching Pakistan recently had expressed his last wish to visit his born-place, native home and to meet childhood friends. His strong desire to visit the place where he spent his childhood and played in the street before partition in 1947 have been fulfilled by Pakistan government.

Nidhan Singh remembered that at the time of partition they left our home and took only some clothes and told their Muslim neighbours that they will return as soon as the situation gets normal, but they never came back. He remembered the days when he along with his friends and school mates used to swim in river Jehlum and enjoy cool breeze. He said he was studying in grade 7 when the partition took place. First his family temporarily stayed in Rajhastan to wait for normalisation of the situation but later settled in Ludhiana.

Despite his strong wish to see and touch his “first motherland”, he could not get visa for 64 years but luckily this year he got visa for Pakistan on the eve of Baisakhi.