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Suspension of Thar Express causing inconvenience to Indians, Pakistanis

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The suspension of the Thar Express—the train that connected India with Pakistan—is causing inconvenience to citizens of both countries. It’s been two years since the train that connects Munabao in Barmer district to Khokhrapar in Pakistan’s Sindh province stopped operating.

The discontinuation of the train services is causing a lot of inconvenience to Indians and Pakistanis, who want to travel to each-others country for varied reasons. A number of Hindus from Pakistan who had come to India to meet relatives here have to take the Wagah border route for their travel.

Similarly, a number of Indian families who had gone to Pakistan have to return via the Wagah or Attari border by road taking a circuitous journey.

As the relationship between India and Pakistan continues to remain strained, the chances of the resumption of Thar Express seem difficult, at least in the near future. The train was not only ideal for the people from the border districts of Rajasthan to go to Pakistan to meet their relatives, but it also helped the Pakistanis.

Thar Express service started in 2006

The Thar Express service started in February 2006 and till its discontinuation had carried over four lakh passengers. The weekly service used to carry 600 to 700 passengers.

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“I am a Hindu from Umarkot city in the Sindh province and I had come to meet my relatives via the Wagah border taking a long arduous journey. After crossing the Indian border, I will have to go to Lahore and then to Karachi. From Karachi, I will have to take another train to reach home. This would take more than two days. Had the Munabao-Khokhrapar route been operational, we would have reached home in just a few hours,” said Sukhram Bheel

The Munabao railway station, the last station on the Indian side, bears a deserted look with all the facilities closed. There are few railway employees posted at the station along with security staff. The restrooms and the station master’s rooms are all gathering dust.

Meanwhile, at the Pakistan end, the railway authorities had changed the zero line railway station’s name to Maarvi. Maarvi is the name of a beautiful woman from Umarkot whose stories are popular in both India and Pakistan.

 

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