Family of six from Karachi spent the night on city’s footpath after hotels refused them rooms ‘for being Pakistani’
A Pakistani family of six was left stranded on the streets of Mumbai on Wednesday as they failed to gain admission in any hotel or lodge in the city.
The family from Karachi stayed with their relatives in Jodhpur before arriving in Mumbai to pay their respects at the shrine of Haji Ali. After their visit to the shrine, the family, which included three women and a boy, was denied stay at hotels and resorts on account of being Pakistani.
“We arrived in Mumbai on October 14 morning, went to the shrine and returned from there after prayers,” said Noor Banu, who had come to India with her brother Inayat Ali, nephew Shakeel Ahmed, two other women and a seven-year-old boy.
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“I asked the family to wait near a hotel at Bhenzi Bazaar and began searching for a hotel or lodge. Till the evening I visited around a dozen lodges, but everyone refused to admit us since we are from Pakistan,” said a bitter Shakeel Ahmed.
“What is the problem in providing us accommodation when the Indian government has given us valid visas?” he added.
The family decided to return to Jodhpur when their efforts to find lodging in Mumbai failed miserably. However, the local railway authorities told them there was no train for Jodhpur late at night and they would have to return the next morning.
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Since the family could not spend the night at the station due to local regulations, the only other alternative was to spend the night on the footpath.
The family returned to Jodhpur the next day.
“We are going from Mumbai, but don’t want to go with bitter memories. However, one will think about the treatment given to him or her on foreign soil,” said Banu.
Responding to a question about Indian attitude post 26/11 attacks, Ahmed said, “Even we feel bad for it. However, one cannot malign the image of all Pakistanis because of that.”
The article originally appeared on The Times of India