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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 78

Thar Express – Still impediments galore

[b]Thar Express – Still impediments galore[/b]

By Alok Bansal

With less than a week left for the inauguration of Thar Express that will link up Munnabao in India’s western state of Rajasthan to Khokhrapar in Sindh province in Pakistan, there is great euphoria in the population that would benefit from the train, even though the news reports indicate that all the arrangements are still not in place on the Pakistani side. The train service which is a significant link in the ongoing process of normalization of relations between India and Pakistan is expected to start on February 18, 2006 and will provide a valuable link for the divided families across the borders.

With less than a week remaining before Thar Express plies on the Khokhrapar-Munabao route for the first time, Pakistan is still in the process of completing arrangements at the Zero Point railway station. The decision to build an international railway station at Zero Point was taken just a month ago and the construction work began on Jan 19, as the security agencies were not comfortable with the railway station at Khokhrapar, which is at a distance of 10 Kms from the Indian border. Initially, it had been planned that the Thar Express would stop at the Khokhrapar railway station where all customs and immigration related work would be done. Accordingly in view of the resumption of link with India, the Pakistan Railways had started renovating the railway station.

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