A first in Pak: Road named after Indian post-Partition
Puneet Pal Singh Gill/TNS
The Pritam Singh Road is 6-km-long, 14-ft-wide and goes from Aroop village to Gujranwala. It was inaugurated at a grand function organised by Pakistan MPA Shazia Ashfaq Mattu on February 19
Before Partition, the Bhinder family owned 750 acres in Gujranwala district. Shazia’s grandfather and Pritam Singh Bhinder were classmates
Ludhiana, February 24
In a gesture that will go a long way in strengthening Indo-Pak relations, Member of Provincial Assembly in Pakistan Shazia Ashfaq Mattu has named a road after a Sikh landlord, Pritam Singh Bhinder.
This is the first time post-Partition that a road in Pakistan has been named after an Indian. Former Pakistan MPA Peer Ghulam Farid, who is MPA Shazia’s father, is in Ludhiana nowadays on a visit and presented a photograph of the inauguration stone of the road to the Bhinder family in the city.
The Pritam Singh Road is 6-km-long, 14-ft-wide and starts from Aroop village and ends in Gujranwala city. It was inaugurated in a grand function organised by the MPA on February 19. Before Partition, the Bhinder family owned 750 acres at Kotli Arbang village in Gujranwala district of Pakistan. Shazia’s grandfather Sahibzada Didar Ali and Pritam Singh Bhinder were classmates and best friends in the pre-Partition era.
Both the families revived their ties in 1991.
Peer Ghulam Farid told The Tribune, “In 1991, Pritam Singh visited his village - Kotli Arbang - and found that the road was in a very poor state. He requested us to take care of the road as it led to ‘his’ village.”
Years passed by and both families kept visiting each other. In 2007, Pritam Singh Bhinder passed away.
“Few months ago, Pritam Singh’s son Reetinder Singh Bhinder enquired about the road leading to his ancestral village during a phone conversation. I immediately recalled that Pritam had requested us to construct a metalled road from Aroop village to Gujranwala.
“Tenders were floated and work on the road started six months back.
“On February 19, the road was inaugurated and was named Pritam Singh Bhinder Road,” informed Peer Ghulam Farid.
Reacting to this goodwill gesture, Reetinder said, “I had never imagined that Peer Ghulam Farid would name a road after my father.”