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Rashid Latif set to meet Indian stepbrother

March 20, 2004 18:22 IST

Former Pakistan cricket captain Rashid Latif has responded to his stepbrother's call and is planning a family reunion on the sidelines of the second Test in Lahore.

Rashid's brother Shahid, an Indian, resides in Kolkata and had recently expressed his wish to cross the border to watch the historic series.

Rashid, settled in Karachi, said he was also keen for his brother to join him in Pakistan.

"All my family members are planning to travel to Lahore during the second Test and invite Shahid for the match there," he said.

"Even though this is not a feasible idea, everyone is desperate to meet him."

Rashid said he would have liked his brother to come to Karachi, but Indian citizens could visit only those cities for which they had match tickets.

"We are based in Karachi and India is no longer going to play here," Rashid was quoted as saying in local daily The News. "I am now trying to use my contacts and get a proper visa for my brother so that he can visit Karachi and stay for a while as he has never seen Pakistan."

The 50-year-old Shahid, who works with an English daily in Kolkata, was not allowed to join his father Abdul Latif in Pakistan by his grandfather.

"When I moved to Pakistan I desperately wanted my son to come with me but my father didn't want to have any of it and he stuck to his position," said Abdul.

Rashid does not mind his brother supporting India whenever the archrivals cross swords on the cricket field.

"I met Shahid for the first time when I visited Bangalore for the 1996 World Cup. He came for the match but supported India even though I was playing. I did not mind since he is an Indian citizen who was born in India," said Rashid.

Rashid's ancestral home is in a village in Sultanpur in Uttar Pradesh, where his brother still spends six months in a year to look after agricultural lands.

Shahid was born of Abdul's first wife and because of the strained relations between the two countries, he has had few opportunities of meeting his father or his stepbrother and sisters.

Their father hopes that the improving relations between Pakistan and India will eventually allow him to have regular exchanges with his son.

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