Pride of Wagha Border, “Chacha Pakistan” departs at 90

-File photo

CHACHA PAKISTAN, originally named Mehar Din, was a man who supported and cheered for his homeland every single day, 365 days a year, at Wagah Border for more than 50 years.

Chacha Mehar Din, known as “Chacha Pakistan”  died yesterday on Sunday at the age of 90.

Often confused with “Chacha Circket”, Mehar Din was seen at Wagha Border instead of Cricket Stadiums of Pakistan. Hence the name “Chacha Pakistan.

Every morning, as the flag hoisting ceremony began at Wagha Border, one man, who was always dressed in a green Pakistani flag and carried another one in his hands, cheered for Pakistan as the crowd cheered for him. That man was Chacha Pakistan.

Born in 1922, Chacha Mehar Din came to Pakistan a few years after the partition, unlike his brother who migrated during partition, Chacha Pakistan remained unmarried in his lifetime.

After his death, one of his nephews that lived with Chacha Pakistan said that there hasn’t been a single day in their lives where they have seen Chacha Pakistan get up in the morning and not go to the Wagha Border.

He was an admirer of dictatorship. Mehar Din had sentiments against democratic governments, his nephew added. Pakistan’s ex-president Pervaiz Musharraf also sent him for an Umrah trip on tax-payers’ expense, because of his support for Military rule in the country.

Chacha Pakistan was what you call a hardcore patriot. It is said that he wouldn’t ever let the Pakistani flag touch the ground. His sentiments ran deep for his country as he got up every day and left for Wagha border, hitch-hiking, requesting for lifts from random cars and trucks passing him by. Sometimes he even walked the whole 40-kms from his home to Wagah Border. But he never missed a day.

Screaming “Pakistan Zindabad” at the top of his lungs, his chants were well received by the crowd at Wagah Border, which replied even louder because of the adrenaline Chacha Pakistani pumped into them. The impact of which, was felt on the other side of the border as well.

He received numerous awards and certificates from various security agencies like The Rangers Corp. But unfortunately was never given an opportunity to acquire a proper source of income.

Chacha Pakistan was not paid by anyone for doing what he did and it is believed that neither did he expect anyone to pay him. However, a few fans and well-wishers of Chacha Pakistan often tried to support him in the name of philanthropy.

It is yet unclear as to how Chacha Pakistan died, as neither him or his family had enough money to take him to a medical facility or a hospital. It is believed that he was suffering from a high fever and cough for a few days, before he eventually died.

Chacha Pakistan cheered for Pakistan because he loved his  country and never asked for anything in return. For him, his payment was the smile he brought to Pakistani people’s faces and his freedom to waive the green and white flag he held in his hands.

The same green and white flag was wrapped around him as he was laid to rest, in his hometown of Chandrai in Punjab.

You will be missed and may you rest in peace.