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India, Pakistan. They met in an online game, and politics got in the way of their love. They were arrested

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27-year-old Pakistani Seema Ghulam Haider met 22-year-old Indian Sachin Meena through one of the popular online games. A woman left her husband and left Pakistan for India to live with a man from the network. However, hostility between the countries they come from stood in the way of their love. The couple was arrested, behind bars appeals to allow them to live together.

The couple met in 2019 through the popular game PUBG. “I was playing PUBG for two to three hours a day and I met Sachin while playing,” Seema Ghulam Haider told BBC Hindi. The two exchanged phone numbers and started chatting regularly, also keeping in touch via Instagram and WhatsApp. “The two became close, so there was a desire to meet,” Indian police later said in a statement describing their relationship. Seema Ghulam Haider lived in Karachi with her four children and her husband. Her affair with a 22-year-old Indian man probably began after her husband went to Saudi Arabia in search of work. “Sachin was talking to someone late at night, as late as 2-3am,” said Birbal Meena, his uncle, who lived with the 22-year-old and extended family in a shared house in Rabupura, nearly 65 kilometers southeast of New Delhi.

– Then (Sachin – ed.) he confessed that he fell in love with a Pakistani woman and was going to marry her – said his uncle. “He also said that the woman had four children and that her husband had abandoned her,” added a relative of the 22-year-old. Then, for the first time, the nationality of lovers became a problem. – We asked him how he could bring a woman from an enemy country? – reported the uncle. “Sachin’s grandfather begged him, ‘Please don’t do this,'” he continued.

After nearly four years of long-distance relationship, the couple met for the first time in March 2023 in Nepal. They spent a week in a hotel in Kathmandu. Then she went back to Pakistanand he to Indiawith the promise that they will meet again, taking advantage of the porous border between India and Nepal.

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She was supposed to sell the house, “search on YouTube” itinerary

The route from Pakistan to India via Nepal, the woman told reporters, was “searched on YouTube”. In May, already with the children, she reached India. To finance the trip, Seema had what her husband accuses her of selling their shared home in India and taking all their jewelry with her.

Seema Ghulam Haider accused her husband of domestic violence. She told the police that she had divorced him. Her husband denied these reports. The woman – as described by the media – claimed in an interview with the police that she did not sell her husband’s house, but a plot that belonged to her parents.

The pair of lovers lived together for about two months. They were arrested on Tuesday, July 4, the court decided on 14 days of detention. The woman was charged with illegal entry into India. “I don’t want to go back,” Seema told reporters as she and her children were taken away by the police. – I want to marry Sachin. I love him a lot. I left everything for him,” she added. “We just want the government to let us get married and start a family,” Sachin said as he and his father were arrested on charges that amounted to conspiring to harbor an enemy.

Seema Ghulam Haider (third from left), Sachin Meena (center) and his father (second from right) after being arrested by the police POLICE COMMISSIONERATE GAUTAM BUDDH NAGAR

The police say they are conducting a thorough investigation into the matter.

The couple faces several years in prison

Seema Haider and her children face deportation. In addition, to her and her beloved – several years in prison. Police officials said the questioning showed that the 22-year-old Indian man, who earned about $100 a month from the store, had not lied to the woman about his standard of living and had not lured her to come with false promises. “She knew he wasn’t very wealthy,” said Sudhir Kumar, head of the Rabupura police station. “She wasn’t impressed with his work, but PUBG’s (in-game – ed.) skill,” he added.

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The couple met with a lawyer in the week leading up to their arrest for advice on legalizing Seema’s stay in India. According to the Times of India, a lawyer reported the matter to the police. “I was surprised to discover that she and her children had Pakistani passports on them,” he told the newspaper, adding that Seema had asked about the marriage process in India.

The lawyer also claimed that Seema Haider got up and left as soon as he asked her about her Indian visa. “When I found out they were living in Rabupura, I notified the police,” he described.

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Tensions between India and Pakistan

Tensions, also on religious grounds, have been going on for decades between India, where Hindus predominate, and Muslim Pakistan.

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In Pakistan, there are frequent reports of girls from religious minorities, especially Hindus, marrying at a young age and forcibly converting to Islam.

In India, there is a very strong right wing that condemns any interfaith relationship between Muslims and Hindus, calling such relationships an example of “love jihad” or an attempt by Muslims to pursue Hindu women with the intention of converting them to Islam. The accusation became part of a campaign targeting India’s approximately 200 million Muslims.

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