Last update: Wed, 10 Feb 2016 03pm

Pakistani family spends night at Mumbai footpath

A Pakistani family of six remained stranded on the streets of Mumbai on the night of October 14 as they failed to get accommodation at any hotel or lodge in the city. The family from Karachi stayed with their relatives in Jodhpur before arriving in Mumbai to pay respects at the shrine of Haji Ali. After their visit to the shrine, the family was denied stay at hotels and resorts on account of being Pakistanis, a news channel reported.

"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. "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 asked.

The family decided to return to Jodhpur when their efforts to find lodging in Mumbai failed. 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. 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 a foreign soil," said Banu.

Copyright Associated Press of Pakistan, 2015