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Pak girl finally here to wed Indian fiancee

October 29, 2003 10:27 IST
Last Updated: October 31, 2003 12:41 IST

Tahira Zahoor struggled to hold back tears of joy as the Delhi-Lahore bus in which she was travelling crossed the Wagah border.

The 20-year-old Pakistani girl was coming to India to wed Maqbool, a 30-year-old journalist, in Punjab on November 6.

Tahira said both the families used to visit each other's country from time to time and "they decided to tie us in wedlock. The date for the marriage was fixed for December 2001. But the attack on the Indian Parliament ruined our plans, as the Indian government snapped rail, road and air links with Pakistan and the marriage had to be postponed indefinitely."

"I am coming to India after two years and by the grace of Allah I will be able to get married on November 6."

It is not just smiles all around though.

"My parents will not be attending the marriage as they were refused visas to come to India," she said.

Tahira was granted a visa after Maqbool sought the help of former prime minister Inder Kumar Gujral.

Maqbool stays in Gurdaspur district, which is close to the Wagah border in Punjab.

But since passengers of the Delhi-Lahore bus are not allowed to disembark midway, Tahira had to first go to Delhi and then return to Gurdaspur.

For Tahira, the eight more hours that she had to wait seemed like eight years.

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