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The rigmaroles of cross-border marriages

The India-Pakistan partition entails many sad tales. Marriage vows are also entangled in such partition woes. Partition separated the kith and kin by drawing a border between two countries. Still such communities like Nawayatis sought marriage relations across the border.

Such brides and grooms of cross-border marriages face endless problems and hardships in getting visa, citizenships and approval to leave cities. The latest ongoing rhetoric against Pakistan has made things a lot worse for people involved in such cross-border marriages. Even when not considered a security threat, their files are lost in labyrinths of bureaucracy hurdles. Many, especially those from younger generations have left this “stressful” citizenship procedure halfway and migrated to West Asia. The local qazis are asked by intelligence officials not to marry Nawayatis with ‘Pakistanis’. 

As Pakistani men face problems in getting Indian citizenship, cross-border marriages mainly see Pakistani brides coming into India. There is a complex journey involved in getting Indian citizenship for them too. They need to go to Pakistan embassy to renew their passports without which Indian visas are not given.

They also have to travel to Karachi every two years to renew their identity cards without which Pakistani passports will not be renewed. Visa restrictions as well as difficulties in acquiring long-term permission for one to two years at one go have resulted in fewer cross-border marriages now.

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