Azhar Shervani and Zafar Hameed are twin brothers who have been unable to be there for each other throughout their lives. Born on August 15, 1947 in India, the two have been separated since they were two years old when Shervani was adopted by his childless uncle and aunt in a common practice made in South Asia at the time. On the day they were born, India became independent. The Hameed family moved to Pakistan which had split from India at the independence. Since the split, there had been violent religious rioting and sectarian fighting that was said to have possibly killed up to one million people. At the time of the boys’ separation, however, things had calmed down, and the families believed that visiting each other would be simple.

However, a short war ensued to gain possession of Kashmir, a predominantly Muslim Himalayan region divided between India and Pakistan. The Shervani and Hameed families were luckily able to stay in touch using their money and influence to visit each other. The twins visited each other about once a year. This caused them to miss out on important events in each other’s lives. In 1965, India and Pakistan fought for control over Kashmir again, preventing Shervani from attending his sister’s wedding. In 1971, East Pakistan became known as Bangladesh after another war had ensued. Shervani was married in 1972, though his brother was unable to make it to that event. Since then, peace has slowly come to the region, making travel easier.

Despite the hindrance that all of the fighting has caused, preventing the twins from seeing each other, they still remain loyal to the countries they were raised in. Hameed wishes that Shervani lived in Lahore. Shervani prefers India.

For related articles visit http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/6926057.stm and http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/world/archives/2007/08/14/2003374164.

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