NAROWAL: It was a very emotional moment for the second-generation members of the Christian Mithu family which had separated during the tumultuous days of the Partition of India in 1947, when they met at Gurdwara Darbar Sahib at Kartarpur on Friday.
The Kartarpur Corridor provided the two branches of the family with an opportunity to reunite after 74 years as they came to know about each other through a Punjabi news channel.
Shahid Rafiq Mithu, a resident of Mananawala in Nankana district, reached Kartarpur with 40 members of his family, while Sono Mithu, a resident of Shahpur Dogran, a village in Ajnala tehsil of Amritsar district in Indian (east) Punjab, arrived at the Gurdwara via Kartarpur Corridor with eight members of his family to meet the former.
The members of the family were so overwhelmed that they hugged each other and cried.
Shahid Rafiq Mithu said that their elder Iqbal Masih had migrated to Pakistan with his family during the Partition in 1947, while his (Iqbal’s) brother Inayat got lost during the tumult and was left behind in east Punjab.
“Around a year ago my interview was aired by a Punjabi news channel in which I talked about the separation of our elders during the Partition, which was watched by our relatives in Indian Punjab, who contacted us and we planned reunion at Kartarpur,” Shahid Mithu said, regretting that both the elders — Iqbal and Inayat — had died.
‘I am very happy after meeting Shahid Rafiq Mithu and 35 other relatives at Kartarpur,” Sono Mithu said.
The reunited relatives had heart-to-heart chat and shared with each other their stories and memories of their late elders.
On the occasion, the Kartarpur administration served sweets to both families.
Later, the family members visited different parts of Gurdwara Darbar Sahib and had lunch together at the Baba Guru Nanak Langar Hall. They also visited a local market for shopping and kept chatting.
They planned to meet again and the Sono’s family was asked by their relative here to bring more members during their next visit to the Gurdwara.
Both the families thanked the Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan for providing an opportunity to reunite to the families who were separated 74 years ago.
Published in Dawn, February 19th, 2022