Pakistan Lay Claim To Rishi Sunak’s Ancestry

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Islamabad: Rishi Sunak created history by becoming the first Hindu and first person of colour to become Prime Minister of UK. His crowing moment was all the more special as it coincided with Diwali celebrations in India and elsewhere.

India and Pakistan are on the cusp of history to share the pride of Rishi Sunak becoming Britain’s first non-White Prime Minister. Sunak’s grandparents originated from British India but their birthplace, Gujranwala, lies in modern-day Pakistan’s Punjab province.

Sunak, in an odd way, is both an Indian and a Pakistani by heritage. He is a practising Hindu and takes his Commons oath on the Bhagavad Gita.

The 42-year-old was born in Southampton to Hindu-Punjabi parents but his grandparents were born and raised in the city of Gujranwala in Punjab province, as per media reports.

His paternal grandfather Ramdas Sunak left Gujranwala to work as a clerk in Nairobi in 1935. His wife, Suhag Rani Sunak, moved to Delhi first from Gujranwala, along with her mother-in-law, before travelling to Kenya in 1937 to join her husband.

Ramdas and Suhag Rani had six children, three sons and three daughters.

Rishi Sunak’s father Yashveer Sunak was born in 1949 in Nairobi. He arrived in Liverpool in 1966 and went on to study medicine at the University of Liverpool. Yashveer married Usha in Leicester in 1977.

Three years later, Rishi was born in 1980 in Southampton. His parents ran a successful pharmacy business till their retirement.

So far, scanty details about his ancestry are available only on social media. That is where both Indians and Pakistanis are expressing their views.

“The Sunaks are a Punjabi Khatri family from Gujranwala, now in Pakistan,” said a Twitter user, adding, “Ramdas Sunak, Rishi’s paternal grandfather, left Gujranwala to work as a clerk in Nairobi in 1935.”

As soon as it became clear that Rishi will become the next Prime Minister, Pakistani netizens on Twitter laid claim to the incoming British leader.

“I think Pakistan should also lay claim on Rishi Sunak because his paternal grandparents were from Gujranwala who from there migrated to Kenya and then to Britain,” one user tweeted.

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