Karachi: An annual religious congregation in Pakistan`s Sindh province provides an opportunity for many Hindu families from India to reunite with relatives they were separated from at the time of Partition.
A delegation of 84 Indian pilgrims led by Sant Yudhister Lal is currently in Pakistan for three-day celebrations to mark the birth anniversary of Sain Shadha Ram at Shadhani Darbar Hayat Pitafi near Mirpur Mathelo.
The delegation, which visited Sadh Belo temple in Sukkur, was accorded a warm welcome by local Hindus. The pilgrims will return to India on December 12.
Sant Yudhister Lal told reporters the annual congregation helps Hindus families to get together with relatives in Pakistan.
"They are many people in our delegation who have relatives and loved ones in Pakistan and it is a big occasion for them to reunite," he said.
Sanwal Das, who migrated to India from Ghotki in Sindh in 1962, said he had met cousins who still live in Pakistan. "The love, affection and hospitality we receive in Pakistan is heartwarming," he said.
Das, who lives in Raj Nand village near Raipur in Chhattisgarh and runs a confectionery shop, said Sindh was like his second home.
Indira Wazirani, who migrated to India from Karachi in 1947, said misconceptions were the main reason behind tense relations between the two countries.
The 72-year-old recalled she lived with her family in a three-storey building on Burns Road, now home to one of Pakistan`s most famous "food streets".
"I was only six years old and had just started going to school when we moved to India. After Partition, a man came to our house and handed my father Rs 300 to take over our residence," she said.
"Someone please take me to Karachi, because I am dying to see my Karachi and Burns Road," Wazirani said.
Her younger sister, Chanda Virani, works as a journalist with Sindhu Desh Television and this was her fourth consecutive visit to Pakistan.