Monday, July 16, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Prayers for summit’s success
M. L. Kak
Tribune News Service

Jammu, July 15
While the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee and the Pakistan President, Gen Pervez Musharraf, were engaged in a one-to-one dialogue in Agra, both the BSF and the Pak Rangers were busy monitoring the situation along the international border in Jammu sector.

As the summit progressed, Haji Mohammad Shafi (75) has started harbouring hopes of seeing the Jammu-Sialkot rail and road reopened. He said: “At the time of Partition we crossed over to Pakistan with all our relations.

“Some of us returned in 1951 when we saw there were no greener pastures. Since then we have been segregated,” he said, adding that my parents died wishing that all our relations get united.

Mr Semah Ram (95) of Gulabgarh village said: “I have no relations across the border but I want the Jammu-Sialkot road to be reopened.”

While pointing towards a broken rail track he said “the trains from Sialkot used to touch Jammu thrice a day.”

Mr Arjan Singh, a Sarpanch, said: “Once the rail and road between Jammu and Sialkot are reopened it will create a healthy impression on people on either side of the border. It may lead to peace and better understanding.”

The desire for peace is not only manifest in the Kashmir valley. It is evident in a greater degree in the border villages in Poonch, Rajouri, R.S. Pora, Samba and Akhnoor sectors where at least 60,000 people have been inconvenienced by militancy and by intermittent exchange of fire between Pakistan and Indian troops.

The desire for peace has gripped migrants from Kashmir and those from the border areas of Akhnoor sector like fever. Refugees from the PoK, living in Jammu, have been in the forefront of those wishing the summit a success.

During congregations in several gurdwaras today, devotees prayed for the success of the summit. A number of pilgrims, who visited the holy cave of Amarnath, said on their return to Jammu that they had prayed for peace and the success of the summit.

The President of the State Gurdwara Prabandhak Board, Mr S.S. Wazir, issued a statement here today wishing the summit a success. 

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