Four years have passed since Samiya, Khan’s daughter, tied the knot with Pakistan pacer Hasan Ali in Dubai back in 2019. Following her wedding, she hasn’t had the opportunity to journey across the border, until this moment.
Liyakat Khan, a retired Block Development Officer hailing from Haryana’s Nuh district, is eagerly awaiting the India-Pakistan World Cup match set to take place in Ahmedabad on October 14. His anticipation goes far beyond the realm of cricket, as this highly-anticipated match in the mega event offers him the precious chance to hold his two-year-old granddaughter for the very first time.
A span of four years has elapsed since Khan’s daughter, Samiya, tied the knot with Pakistan’s fast bowler Hasan Ali in Dubai in 2019. Following her marriage, she was unable to make the journey across the border—until now.
Expressing his emotions, Khan, now 63 and residing in Chandeni village, shares, “In 2021, my wife ventured to Pakistan when our daughter was expecting her first child. We now look forward to our long-awaited reunion in Ahmedabad. I simply cannot contain my excitement to embrace my beloved grandchild.”
Before the Pakistan team’s arrival in India, there were days marked by uncertainty regarding the eagerly awaited family reunion.
Initially, there were uncertainties surrounding the Pakistan team’s travel to India, and later, Hasan Ali was conspicuously absent from the preliminary World Cup squad. It was only after Naseem Shah suffered an injury during last month’s Asia Cup that Ali was named as a last-minute replacement.
Recognizing the immense hype surrounding the India-Pakistan match and the political tensions, Khan chooses his words thoughtfully. As he reminisces about the day his daughter expressed her desire to marry Ali, he invokes the wisdom of the philosopher Rumi.
“I’ve always based my life on a quote from Rumi that I came across during my college days in Rohtak: ‘Apne dil ki suno, bheed ki nahi’ – which means ‘Listen to your heart, not to the crowd.’ My daughter was working as a flight engineer with Emirates Airlines when she met Hasan in Dubai through a mutual friend. She shared her thoughts about him with me, and I never had any doubts about her decision,” he explains.
“What’s the use of education if I impose my choices on her? She’s educated and independent. It doesn’t matter what a few people might say behind our backs. I told her that as long as she’s happy, it doesn’t matter who she’s marrying. We have extended family in Pakistan who moved there during the Partition. Hasan is a kind-hearted person with a beautiful soul,” he continues.
When asked if he faces any internal conflict during India-Pakistan cricket matches in which his son-in-law plays, he chuckles and replies, “I’ve watched legends like Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Sachin Tendulkar, and Mohammed Azharuddin, but I’m a devoted Virat Kohli fan. ‘Mujhe mohabbat hai Virat Kohli se’ – I am smitten with Virat Kohli,” he says, bursting into laughter.