— Dawn
— Dawn

SIALKOT: The newly-wed couple – Maria Hellena, 41, and Kashif Ali, 21 – have begun their six-day honeymoon in Sialkot.

They are staying at a local hotel amid tight security and the strict monitoring by intelligence agencies. The couple hit the headlines because of their defiance to cultural, age and geographical boundaries.

Ms Hellena is an American national who met her life-partner, the Sialkot-based youth -- on social media site Instagram 10 months ago.

She told Dawn on Saturday she was happy to be here in Sialkot with her partner and called her arrival to Pakistan the most unforgettable moment of her life.

“Thank God, all my dreams have come true as I have got my true love in the shape of my husband Kashif,” she smiled, and said she was grateful to the people of Sialkot for their great hospitality to her.

She said that Pakistan was very lovely, beautiful and peaceful country and the people of Sialkot-Pakistan were very loving. Ms Hellena landed in Pakistan on Nov 14 and the very next day, she and Mr Ali tied the knot in Sialkot.

The couple is also thankful to Instagram where they met in January this year. The American bride says she will promote the soft and lovely image of Pakistan across the world.

Local residents also distributed sweets and greeted the couple amid chants of “Pakistan-America friendship zindabad”.

Published in Dawn, November 18th, 2018