Javeria Khanum is all set to marry her fiance, Sameer Khan, a resident of Kolkata, in January.
On Tuesday, Javeria Khanum from Pakistan crossed the Attari-Wagah border in Amritsar to complete her love story, waiting in Kolkata. Ms Khanum is all set to marry Kolkata resident Sameer Khan in January.
Javeria and Sameer were introduced to each other five years ago when he returned to Kolkata from Germany and saw Ms Khanum's picture on his mother's phone. It was love at first sight for him. He told his mother that he wanted to marry her. Sameer's mother sent the proposal to Javeria's mother in Pakistan's Dera Ismail, and both families agreed, but the road ahead for this love story was not easy.
Javeria Khanum had to apply for a visa to travel to India. The Indian High Commission initially rejected her application twice, and then a global tragedy, the Covid pandemic in 2020, further delayed their story's progression.
Undeterred, Javeria Khanum applied again, and their love story passed its toughest test of getting a visa. Ms Khanum crossed the international border between India and Pakistan at the Attari-Wagah crossing in Amritsar on Tuesday. Sameer welcomed his fiancee with a bouquet and beats of 'dhol' at the border.
"Our families agreed to the marriage but we were trying to get a visa. I thank the government of India for granting me a 45-day visa. We have been in a relationship for the past five years, and I was trying to secure a visa for a long time and finally, it happened. Everyone back home was very happy," Javeria told ANI.
"I'm feeling very happy. The moment I entered India, everyone congratulated me, and I was getting love from everyone. I felt happy seeing the grand welcome I received. I still can't believe this," she added.
Sameer and Javeria sought help multiple times from the Indian government for a quick redressal of their problem. Mr Khan posted on X last month, that in the last five years, he could meet Javeria only three times. Twice in Thailand and once in Dubai and her visa has been rejected twice by India.
The surreal reunion at the border left both Javeria and Sameer struggling to absorb the reality that they can finally marry. Speaking to reporters, he said, "I am very happy and surprised to see her, you can see it on my face. I want to thank the Indian government and Mr. Maqbool, who helped us in the visa process. Both countries helped us a lot to come together. When intentions are clear then no such thing as a border can come in between love, and this is an example."
"I wish both governments introduce a special visa for couples who want to get married and help them. The security concerns are important, I respect that but there should be a special category," he added.
Sameer told PTI that his friends from Germany, Africa, Spain, the United States and other countries will likely attend his wedding.