Passengers relieved as Samjhauta Express resumes services

December 31st, 2007 - 11:10 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Benazir Bhutto
By Ravinder Singh Robin
Wagah, Dec 31 (ANI): Passengers have heaved a sigh of relief with the resumption of the Samjhauta Express that plies between Attari in India to Lahore in Pakistan.
The train services were resumed on Sunday after it was temporarily suspended in the wake of unrest in Pakistan following assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.
Samjhauta Express arrived at Attari on Monday after a brief suspension.
While Indians were relived to be back home to safety, the Pakistani nationals were curious to reach home as quickly as possible.
A tearful Jubeda Khatun, who boarded the train to Pakistan, said: “I don’t know what would I see when I would reach Karachi, hope everything is okay there.”
Khatun said governments of India and Pakistan should not even think of stopping the train service.
“We need to meet more with our relatives in tough times and this (the train) is our link,” she said.
Raj Kumar, a resident of Amritsar, said that he had to stay in a hotel room for all the three days he was in Lahore due to the fear of getting caught in the violence.
“I wanted to visit several places and do lot of shopping, but I was advised by the hotel staff not to venture out as it could be risky” he said.
Nasreena, who returned to India, recalled a horrifying experience after a person hurled a stone at the train in Lahore. She said she was lucky to have escaped the attack.
“I was so scared when a big stone broke the window pane, but nothing happened afterwards since there were lot of policemen in the train,” she said, adding “I am relieved to be back home.”
The services of Samjhauta Express were suspended as there were wide-scale incidents of violence in Pakistan, and the authorities on both sides decided to halt it temporarily for security reasons.
The New Delhi-Lahore bus service and the Thar Express were also halted. However, these two services have not been restored.
The suspension of the bilateral services had hit the passengers badly as many of the visitors were left stranded in each other’s countries.
Samjhauta Express runs from Attari to Lahore every Monday and Thursday and from Lahore every Tuesday and Friday. (ANI)

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