The brothers had separated during the Partition in 1947 and have recently been re-united again.
The Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi has issued a visa to 76-year-old Sika Khan so that he can travel to Pakistan and meet his 84-year-old brother, Muhammad Siddique. Sika and Siddique met each other very briefly after a gap of 74 years, at the Kartarpur Corridor earlier this month on January 10, 2022.
“I am delighted that I have got the visa. I will now travel to Pakistan to meet my brother and other family members,” Sika said in a video tweeted by the High Commission of Pakistan in India. He met Aftab Hasan Khan, the Charge’d Affaires, Pakistan High Commission and posed happily for the media, displaying the stamped visa on his passport.
The Kartarpur Corridor, formally opened in 2019, is a visa-free border crossing and religious corridor, 4.7 kilometres from the India–Pakistan border, that connects the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan to the border with India.
The meeting of the brothers at the Kartarpur Corridor took place due to the efforts of a Pakistani YouTuber Nasir Dhillon, who works with stories of separation. Nasir visited Siddique’s village in 2019 and posted a video of him talking about his long-lost brother, Sika. A man who knew Sika, Jagsir Singh from Phulewala village, in Muktsar district Punjab, India, decided to contact Dhillon and together they arranged for a video-call between the separated siblings. The rest, as they say, is history.
Like most stories of the Partition, Sika and Siddique’s story of separation is also a story of despair and loss. Sika was just two and his brother eight, when rumblings of the partition began. Their father journeyed with Siddique and his sister and went to his ancestral village, Bogran, in the newly formed country of Pakistan, while his wife remained in India with little Sika. Riots raged for days destroying lives and families, as a result they could never meet after that.
Sika and Siddique’s parents soon died, leaving the children orphaned, on both sides of the border.
When the brothers reunited after 74 years at the Kartarpur Corridor, people of both countries celebrated the touching moment as the video of them holding each other and crying in each other’s arms went viral. With this visa granted by the Pakistan government, Sika Khan and Muhammad Siddique can at last sit down and exchange their life-stories in peace and find solace in reminiscing about what they have lost.