The ongoing tension among India and Pakistan has also come to affect the people-to-people interactions. A recent case stands testimony to this predicament, wherein a marriage scheduled to be held in Pakistan had to be postponed in the wake of strained relations between the two nations in the aftermath of Pulwama attack and the IAF strike that followed.
The ‘baraat’ (marriage procession) from Barmer district was to go to Pakistan by Thar Express for the wedding. Watching at the present conditions, the groom was concerned that ‘baraat’ might get stuck in Pakistan. The ceremony was to be held on March 8 in Pakistan.
People in the border villages in Jaisalmer and Barmer districts have their relatives in Amarkot state in Pakistan, and even today, ‘baraats’ come from Pakistan to India and vice-versa. The bulk of the Hindu families in Pakistan marry off their daughters to India. Likewise, marriages of people from India are observed in Pakistan as well. It is to be mentioned that there was originally a huge decline in passengers going to Pakistan by the Thar Express. Only 256 passengers went to Pakistan on Friday, of which 176 are Hindus residing in Pakistan. Till Friday morning, only 45 passengers had scheduled their tickets.
However, after Pakistan released wing commander Abhinandan Varthaman on Friday night, and the number of passengers going to Pakistan increased. Mahendra Singh Rathore is a resident of Khejad ka paar. His barat was to go to Sanau village in Pakistan, but at the last moment, Mahendra, looking to tensions between the two nations, postponed the marriage. They canceled their programme of going to Pakistan by the Thar Express from Jodhpur and the preparations of the marriage came to a standstill. His relatives and family were disappointed. Mahendra was to marry the daughter of one Ran Singh Sodha at Sanau village in Pakistan on March 8 and the baraat was to move on Friday by the Thar Express from Jodhpur. All baraatis (groom’s family) had obtained a visa as well. Mahendra intends to get married once peace is restored between the two countries.