Lahore's Shahneela to wed Batala's Naman amidst Indo-Pak frozen turbulence

Story by  ATV | Posted by  Aasha Khosa | Date 20-03-2023
Shahneela Javed and Naman Luthra in Batala, Punjab (Pakistan Tribune International)
Shahneela Javed and Naman Luthra in Batala, Punjab (Pakistan Tribune International)


New Delhi

Amidst the frozen India-Pakistan relations, two loving hearts from across the border are finally going to tie the nuptial knot after seven years of struggle in trying to crack the rigid Visa regime between the two countries due to their strained relationship.

The 24-year-old Shahneela Javed of Lahore, Pakistan, got engaged to her Indian relative Naman Luthra, a lawyer hailing from the city of Batala, Punjab during the latter’s visit to Pakistan way back in 2016.

Shahneela was a teenager and would wait for a couple of years to get married and come to India but it took her so long.

While the two families were planning their wedding in the coming years the relations between the two countries deteriorated. Shahneela, a lawyer by profession, was denied Visa by the Indian side.

She chose to wait and so did Naman.

In December Naman Luithra decided to write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about this. He also met the Member of Lok Sabha and actor Sunny Deol and sought his help.

Due to Deol’s efforts, Shahneel has been granted a visa to India and finally, preparations are on for the cross-border wedding in April.

In an interview with the media, advocate Luthra said that despite completing the formalities, his fiancee was denied a visa several times in the past.

Now not only Shahneel but her parents and a group of relatives have been granted a visa to come to Batala for holding the wedding ceremony of Shahneela.

Luthra said he would live in Batala with his wife after marriage.

He said they fell in love when he met Shahneel Javed during his visit to Pakistan and their families approved of their marriage.

In the partition, Luthra’s family migrated from Lahore and settled in Batala.

However, his great-grandfather chose to stay with his family in Lahore, later converting to Christianity.

Despite living on either side of the Radcliffe Line, the two families maintained contact. Luthra and Shahneel, who told their relatives they wanted to get married, got engaged as teenagers in 2016 in Lahore.

Shahneel visited Batala in 2018 but was subsequently denied a visa several times.

Shahneel and Numan found a way to meet up at the Sahib Singh Gurudwara at Kartarpur in Pakistan where Indians don’t require a visa to enter Pakistan.

Meanwhile, Lahore-based Shahneela Javed and her family declined to talk further about it and said that they are busy with wedding preparations. Her mother told the local news reporters that she will send her daughter off via the Wagah border as a bride.