Today, Jaguars owner Shad Khan is wrapping up a trip to his childhood hometown of Lahore, Pakistan. Khan is accompanying London Mayor Sadiq Khan (no relation), a fellow Pakistani whose grandparents fled India when his parents were very young.
For the mayor, this official visit is a historic first: Today he became the first British politician in a generation to step across the India/Pakistan border-literally; he crossed over on foot through the only open land crossing. Relations between India and Pakistan have been characterized by hostility, prejudice, isolationism and threats since the violent 1947 partition.
Evening Standard reports that the trip was nearly cancelled because of disapproval from the British Foreign Office, which cautioned against the mayor travelling to both India and Pakistan on a single trip. "There are tensions between the two countries, there are diplomatic challenges," Mayor Khan reportedly said. "The land crossing is symbolic."
Khan, as owner of both the Jaguars and London's Fulham Football Club, has previously met with London's mayor. In September 2016, the two met to discuss items "related to both brands of football as well as numerous topics important to London and the connection between the city, Jacksonville and the United States," the team said in a statement at the time, the Florida Times-Union reported.
According to the mayor's Twitter feed, on this trip, the two spoke with Pakistani leaders and visited sites, including the Badshahi mosque in Lahore, which the mayor said on his official Twitter account that he hoped would one day be named a UNESCO World Heritage site.
A spokesperson for Shad Khan told Folio Weekly that the trip was intended to promote commerce and cultural alliances.
Correction: This article previously implied that Sadiq Khan's grandparents fled Pakistan