Sarah Munir’s Indian visa was rejected despite having visited the country before
Purvi Thacker just wanted her Pakistani best friend by her side on the biggest day of her life. But the Indian government didn’t see eye to eye with her.
Sarah Munir, a Pakistani citizen working in the US, was rejected an Indian visa to attend Thacker’s wedding next month in India despite having visited the country before. In hopes to appeal the rejected visa, the two best friend’s are now on a mission to spread their story until it reaches the ‘right’ people.
“For all those who know mine and Sarah Munir’s friendship, you will understand how heartbroken we are that her visa application to India for my wedding in December was denied. That my best friend cannot be there for what will be my biggest day is something that I cannot come to terms with. Forget the hustling, the paperwork, the months of coordination and prayers — we didnt know that it would end with a rejection,” Thacker wrote on Facebook.
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Slamming the governments on both sides of the border, she added, “It’s extremely sad that even though we have never let religion, nationalities , our shared history and even cricket come between us, incidents like this repeatedly make us feel like we should.
“We understand that our countries shared history has huge economic and political implications, but it also takes a toll on normal mundane things like human relationships and connections. Nobody thinks about that. Being friends and being there for each other should not be this hard just because we were born on different sides of the borders.”
In the post that has since gone viral, Thacker pleaded to people to help change these notions and bring the matter to the notice of the ‘right’ people to help them.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, Munir explained how she was shattered about not being able to attend her best friend’s wedding.
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“It was 5 years ago when we met at Columbia Journalism School where we were both enrolled in the graduate programme. Thacker didn’t have a place to live so she showed up to my room with her bags in hand and the rest as they say is history,” said Munir.
“One of the most heartbreaking situations is due in December when I won’t be able to attend Thacker’s wedding because I might not be given a visa to do so. I can’t imagine not being there for the biggest day of her life,” Munir added.
Saying politics should not affect the mundane lives of citizens, Munir said, “For us it’s pretty straightforward, we are best friends and so I hoping for some miracle so that I can be there on the most important day of her life.”
India and Pakistan on Tuesday tallied at least 19 deaths in recent firing across their disputed border in Kashmir, where the nuclear-armed neighbors are engaging in increasingly intense artillery duels.
Tension over the Himalayan region has run high since a September cross-border raid on an army base killed 19 Indian soldiers, prompting what New Delhi called retaliatory “surgical strikes” against alleged militants in Pakistan.
Each accuses the other of repeatedly violating a 2003 ceasefire. On the diplomatic front, already chilly relations have gone into the deep freeze following recent tit-for-tat expulsions of diplomats.
Both sides also dispute each other’s version of events that come against the backdrop of heightened tension in Indian-ruled Kashmir after security forces killed a separatist field commander in July.