- Title: Muslim families torn between India, Pakistan, long to unite
- Date: 12th August 2017
- Summary: OLD FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHS
- Embargoed: 26th August 2017 03:40
- Keywords: India Pakistan Partition Independence Jama Mosque Old Delhi Divided Muslim Family
- Location: NEW DELHI, INDIA/KARACHI, PAKISTAN
- City: NEW DELHI, INDIA/KARACHI, PAKISTAN
- Country: Various
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace
- Reuters ID: LVA0066TUOX8L
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Thousands of Muslim families residing in Delhi's old quarters surrounding the majestic 17th century Jama Mosque have been living a divided life, torn by the painful partition of India and Pakistan.
As the two neighbours celebrate 70 years of independence from Britain and the subsequent formation of the two states, pain still remains vivid in the minds of families separated by the partition.
In 1947 millions of people found themselves on the wrong sides of the border following mass migration triggered by violence and bloodshed. More than one million people died in the political earthquake of partition.
The Fehmi family has experienced such separation with brother Mufti Shaukat Ali Fehmi opting to live in India while his sister Sadia stayed in Pakistan.
Sadia died soon after the 1947 partition but her children maintained their links with their paternal family and cousins in India.
Mufti's sons Arshad and Asif live with their families in a house next to the Grand mosque while Sadia's family lives in an upscale area of Karachi.
Asif Fehmi, a 63-year-old journalist and publisher recounts that tensions between the two countries has created unwanted barriers between families like theirs.
Travelling between the two countries became harder after an attack on India's parliament in December 2001 which New Delhi blamed on Pakistan-based Muslim militants fighting against Indian rule in Kashmir.
Meanwhile in her Karachi house, their late cousin's 75-year-old widow, Rehana, says she quite vividly remembers her childhood home and school located in Muradabad city in northern India where she grew up.
She got married in 1964 and gave birth to three sons. Now she is now the grandmother of eight children.
Now the families say they find it easier to meet up in a third country like England or the United States instead of travelling across the border.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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