Jati Umra, a village in Amritsar, is all agog and buzzing because one of their own has become the PM of Pakistan.
Indian origins people are soaring high these days. Be it the corporate world or politics, many with Indian roots are at the helm of things globally. After the likes of Sundar Pichai, Rishi Sunak and Kamala Harris, it’s now the time for someone with Indian roots to head Pakistan.
Shehbaz Sharif, ex Pak PM Nawaz Sharif’s brother has become the new Pak prime minister, has his ancestral home in Jati Umra, a small bordering hamlet in the Punjab.
Even though the two nations do not share a very cordial political relationship, the villagers of Jati Umra are praying in the local gurudwara for Sharif. This prosperous village feels it’s a thing of pride for the village that someone from their village has scaled such heights. Interestingly, Gurudwara Kalgidhar Sahib is built on the land that once belonged to the Sharifs – when Mian Muhammad came visiting in 1979, he donated this land for building the Gurudwara.
Also, though the Sharif family had migrated to Pakistan during the Partition, they kept in touch with their ancestral village. Shehbaz visited the village for the first time with his dad, Mian Muhammad Sharif, in 1964, and again on December 15, 2013. However, Nawaz and Shehbaz (younger brother) were not born in this village, but in Lahore.
Surprisingly, during the time of undivided India (before Partition) this was a Hindu majority village, and the only house belonging to a Muslim here was that of the Sharif family. Incidentally, the Sharif family is of Kashmiri origin, with Shehbaz’s mother hailing from Pulwama – their father came to this village from Anantnag, and ultimately the entire clan settled down at Jati Umra, which is about 35 km away from Amritsar.
In Pakistan, post Partition, Shehbaz’s father set up a small business in Lahore – now, that business is Ittefaq Group – one of the largest industrial groups in Pakistan.
Many elders in the village still remember the Sharif family.