Mum, dad stuck at India-Pakistan frontier call baby ‘Border’
Two Hindu Pakistani parents have reportedly named their baby son, born while they have been stuck at the India-Pakistan border for months, after the very thing that is keeping them from their homeland - "Border".
Nimbu Bai, her husband Bala Ram and their four children travelled to parts of northern and western India a year and a half ago for a pilgrimage.
Covid restrictions meant the couple could not return home straight after the pilgrimage, so the adults took up work.
The long amount of time they spent in India meant their visas had expired, so they needed exit letters from India to be able to re-enter their home country.
They have been camped out at the Attari-Wagah crossing since September, along with at least 100 other Hindu pilgrims from Pakistan.
While waiting in vain to get back home, Nimbu gave birth to a son on 2 December.
"My son’s name is Border. We gave him this name because he was born along the border," the mother said, according to the Hindustan Times.
"It will always remind us of our hardships at Attari international border, especially spending cold nights out in the open," Border's child’s father told The Times of India.
India has been among the countries worst affected by the pandemic. The country's healthcare practically collapsed this year as it dealt with a massive wave of coronavirus cases, and a lockdown stopped cross-border travel.
The couple already needed a visa or exit letter from India and a negative Covid test result to get back into Pakistan.
But entry to their home country has been made even more difficult for the couple since having Border, who now needs birth documents and a passport to be allowed in.
The father says he has asked the Indian government to help him and his family return home, but to no avail.
"We are told that one family alone couldn’t be sent back and we would have to stay till our visa or exit letter arrives," he told The Times of India.
An official in the Punjab police force in India said Pakistani authorities have refused to accept baby Border without necessary documents.
"On Monday, all the other Pakistani Hindus crossed over to Pakistan via the Wagah border, except the newborn and his family," Arun Pul told media.