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October 6, 2018

Kuldeep ashes immersed in Ravi

Lahore

October 6, 2018

LAHORE : In the presence of his family, friends and peace activists, the ashes of Indian senior journalist Kuldeep Nayyar, who passed away on August 23, 2018, immersed in the Ravi River on Friday.

His granddaughter Mandira Nayyar, an Indian journalist and her husband Ratish Nanda crossed the border at Wagah to fulfil the last wish of their beloved grandfather. They participated in an Asthi Visarjan (immersion of the ashes) in the afternoon at the Ravi River.

Mandira Nayyar was overwhelmed to see such a huge crowd gathered at Wagah border who were chanting slogans of peace and love. She said, “I’m very thankful to the Pakistan Embassy in New Delhi for giving us the visas to perform the last rites for my grandfather. I have been to Pakistan with my grandfather and I always received bundles of love and I have never felt that I am away from my home. The reception we always get is so warm and lovely that I will continue my grandfather’s legacy. I planted a sapling in his memory at Wagah border to show the peace and love he had for the people of both countries. My grandfather always supported the labour movements of Pakistan.”

After the ashes immersion ceremony, she got emotional and said, “I will be always grateful to the Pakistani government and authorities who made this possible for us.” Former Federal Minister Aitzaz Ahsan, IA Rehman, Karamat Ali, Farooq Tariq, Irfan Mufti, Rubeena Jameel, Tanveer Jahan, Amir Sohail and others were present in two boats; arranged by the Joint Action Committee of People’s Rights, an umbrella group of several non-profit organisations; to immerse the ashes in the middle of the river.

Sobbing Aitzaz Ahsan, talking about Kuldeep, said, “He was our friend. He was a citizen of the subcontinent. After Partition, he went to India due to some personal reasons but his heart was always here. He was so humble and supportive to our people. He always wished that the border be opened for the people so they can visit each other easily. Peace is the vital solution to Pak-India crisis and, in the current situation, this act of kindness and peace is a straight message to the governments that our people want love and harmony.”

Mandira along with Ratish also visited the Lahore Press Club and she was awarded an honourary membership of the press club. She said, “It’s a great privileged for me to be a part of this club as my grandfather didn’t have the membership of Delhi Press Club but he was a member here. Journalist family has always given us unconditional love.”

She will speak at Government College University and SAFMA today and will leave for India on Sunday. It is pertinent to mention here that the paramilitary forces granted special permission to the host delegation to enter the border reception hall at the Azadi Gate and meet the Indian guests as they emerge from immigration and customs.

Previously, the ashes of former lawmaker and peace activist Nirmala Deshpande and journalist Praful Bidwai were immersed in the Indus River in Sukker and Jamshoro, respectively.

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