Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan Dr TCA Raghavan has supported the demand for revival of Munabao-Khokhrapar trade route. He has suggested that both countries need to talk about opening up more such trade routes in order to facilitate the business communities, media reports from Pakistan said.
Raghavan, while addressing a meeting at Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), said, “We need to facilitate and create an enabling environment by ensuring a peaceful neighbourhood.” Several Pakistani national dailies like the ‘Pakistan Observer’, ‘The Express Tribune’ and the ‘Daily Times’ have published news reports highlighting the statement.
Prior to the 1965 Indo-Pak war, goods trains used to ply between Jodhpur and Karachi. There were strong business relations between Sindh and Marwar. After the war, the rail tracks were uprooted between Munabao and Khokhrapar and this rail route was closed. But with the revival of Munabao-Khokhrapar rail link in shape of Thar Express, the demand of revival of Munabao-Khokhrapar trade route has gained momentum.
The issue was also discussed in the seventh round of India-Pakistan talks on commercial and economic cooperation in Islamabad.
Sources said three years ago, a delegation of Chamber of Commerce had come to Jodhpur to find out the possibilities of starting business through Munabao route.
Later, in September last year, when the commerce minister of Pakistan Fahim had come to Ajmer, he was asked to start goods trains.
Several Pakistani social organisations have also supported the decades-old demand of revival of the trade route.
In July 2013, Pakistan organisations held a meeting in Hyderabad (Pakistan), convened by the Pakistan Peace Coalition (PPC) and Peoples SAARC. During that meeting, the social organisation demanded that like Wagah, the people of Sindh wanted to initiate similar efforts to use the railway route for promoting tourism and trade between the two neighbouring countries.