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Pakistan

Web Desk
August 14, 2020

Independence Day: 79-year-old Pakistani man who lost father, uncles recalls 1947 migration

Pakistan

Web Desk
Fri, Aug 14, 2020

KARACHI: Freedom is a great blessing for anyone and there are some people who have witnessed its fulfillment with their own eyes.

Mohammad Niaz, 79, is one such individual who saw his family members being killed during the partition of India. Geo.tv asked him about his experience during the migration.

A retired employee of Karachi University, Niaz says he was about seven or eights years old and the memories he has of that time are few. The division was such that there were Hindus on one side and Muslims on the other, he tells Geo.tv.

"The day the migration took place, it was a rainy day, and my family left me at a Hindu's home, deciding at the time to come back and take me once they safely reached Pakistan.

"I was alone at the place I was left at, I could see my home from there, so I leapt off on to the roof of my home. At this point, a paternal uncle who was hiding with his daughters in a tailor's house nearby heard me and asked the tailor to bring me down. He took me inside his home," the septuagenarian recalls

People worked honestly and there was no cheating in dealings the way it is today, says 79-year-old Mohammad Niaz. The News/Kashmala Najeeb

"That night, we started travelling towards Pakistan; it was raining and it was nighttime," he says, referring to the challenges of migration.

"Thereafter, I got into a train with my maternal grandfather and came to Pakistan.

"On the way, whenever children were thirsty and asked for water, the Hindus would mix 'neela thotha' in the water and give that to the kids so that they would suffer from stomach issues," he notes.

'Neela thotha', as it is known locally, is dried copper sulfate often used as a pesticide.

"This is how we reached Pakistan," he continues. "My father and his brothers were martyred and only my mother was left alive.

"She had all the responsibilities," he says tearfully, "such as feeding and nurturing us, our upbringing, sending us to schools, etc. She took care of all those responsibilities.

"At that time, people had a lot of passion to progress in life, work hard, and help Pakistan move forward. People worked honestly and there was no cheating in dealings the way it is today.”

Advising his fellow citizens, he says: "Work hard for the country's development and progress and only then can the future generations achieve prosperity."