The Indian and Pakistani cricket rivalry has been on display at the Asia Cup 2018 in the United Arab Emirates. While the focus is on cricket, it is also highlighting another aspect of UAE as a home to many cross-border couples from India and Pakistan.
Couples who find love across the bitterly divided border in the subcontinent find it easier to live in UAE than in India or Pakistan. Pakistanis have trouble getting visas for India, and vice versa; and it gets harder every time there is a spurt in violence and upheaval across the border.
India and Pakistan have fought three wars since independence; and relations soured further after the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
High-profile couples like the Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik and Indian tennis star Sania Mirza have a home in Dubai. An Agence France-Presse (APF) interview also featured couples like Kasim Vakkil, an Indian and his Pakistani wife Ghazala who are part of the UAE’s large South Asian community. “My marriage would not have been possible if we were not living in UAE. Ghazala is from Lahore and I am from Mumbai but living at this neutral venue made our marriage possible.” Kasim told AFP.
Dubai taxi driver Sunil Manohar, from India’s Karnataka state, married Nunda from Pakistan’s Sindh province after their families met in the UAE. “UAE is a nice place for cross-border families,” he said. “In the past, a few couples were stuck in Pakistan because they were not getting an Indian visa.”
An interesting video article in Khaleej Times also features the lives of such couple:
Many tech savvy couple also converge in popular facebook groups like IndoPakFamiles