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Posted at: Oct 4, 2016, 1:47 AM; last updated: Oct 4, 2016, 1:47 AM (IST)

Aboard Samjhauta, they root for peace

Most passengers blame politics behind escalation of tension at the Indo-Pak border
Aboard Samjhauta, they root for peace
Pakistan nationals arrive at Attari through the Samjhauta Express on Monday. Photo: Vishal Kumar

GS Paul

Tribune News Service

Attari, October 3

The tension between India and Pakistan doesn’t seem to have any impact on the train service between the two countries.

As many as 129 passengers (91 Pakistani and 38 Indian) today left for Lahore, while 130 (54 Pakistani and 76 Indian) arrived via the Samjhauta Express. “Don’t thrust battle on us. Ultimately, the people on both sides of the border would have to bear the brunt for no fault of theirs,” this was the common view.

Priyadarsh of Karachi, a postgraduate in international relations, was on a weeklong trip to India with her family. She said the residents on either side did not want war. “I think that the actual message was not delivered properly. The matter was exaggerated by the media that further created fear among the residents. The atmosphere in Pakistan is peaceful. We don’t want war at any cost,” she said.

Newly-wed couple Kamran and Zarina was on their way to Karachi. Kamran said his maternal roots were at Raibareli (UP). “It was there I met Zarina. The roots of the awaam (common citizens) on both sides are connected to each other. I fail to understand why both countries can’t have cordial ties. Why the governments couldn’t respond to each other the way people do,” he questioned.

Another Lahore resident Mohammad Shahid, who was going to Delhi for one month, viewed that the war-like situation was the result of politics. “The politicians on both sides should rise above their vested interests. They should resolve the Kashmir issue though diplomatic talks. Thousands of people have already lost lives for no reason. I believe that Pakistan should not put at stake crores of lives over the ownership rights on the Valley, which originally belonged to India,” he said.

Neelofar Malik, who hails from Karachi, was returning home after meeting her daughter who is married in Delhi. “My daughter Amra is happily married in India for 15 years. I have gone to meet my grandchildren. How can I expect wars with India?” she said.

Delhi resident Mumtaz Mohammad, who visited Pakistan to meet her sister, viewed that the situation in Pakistan was tense. “I felt that the situation is not normal, but people don’t want war at any cost,” she said.

Karachi students Asma and Aisha believed that instead of creating tense situation, Pakistan and India should exchange education programmes. “The education level in Pakistan is dismal. Pakistan should channelise the energy of its youth by planning student exchange programmes. But due to vested interests there is hardly any future in Pakistan,” they shared.

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