Excitement, hope take over Thar passengers
There were smiles and excitement all around to meet the loved ones after decades of separation as the Thar Express train.india Updated: Feb 18, 2006 12:19 IST
There were smiles and excitement all around to meet the loved ones after decades of separation as the Thar Express train, connecting India and Pakistan through Rajasthan, made its inaugural journey on Saturday.
"I will go to Karachi to meet my aunt. I will be meeting her for the first time. I am quite excited and hopeful," said Mohammad Syed, one of the 200 passengers on the historic train.
Syed, who was visibly happy and excited, said he was hopeful that the train would continue to run.
The 200 passengers were given a special reception at Munabao station after the Thar Express reached here after an overnight journey from Jodhpur en route to Pakistan.
The message of Indo-Pak friendship was also unmistakable, with another passenger, holding an Indian flag, said he was going to Pakistan with the message of love.
"Mohabbat ka paigam lekar ja rahen hain, aur Inshallah, mohabbat hamesha kayam rahe (I am going there with the message of love, and I pray to God that this love is there forever)," he said.
"I hope this train keeps on running, taking the message of love," the passenger said.
An elderly man said it would be first opportunity for him to meet his long-separated sister. "I am very happy and grateful. My sister is there and I am going to meet her," he said.
He said his sister had gone to Pakistan during the 1971 war. "This is the first opportunity for us to meet after so many years. We were very young at that time," he said in a nostalgic mood.
The Munabao-Khokrapar train link is the second one between India and Pakistan after the Samjhauta Express which runs between Amritsar and Lahore.
This train link was suspended after the 1965 Indo-Pak war.
Initially, the train will run on a weekly basis and the frequency could be increased if there is a demand.