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Oct 28 2011 (6:57AM)
News Entry# 43567 A way home across the border: Thar Express
Posted by: rdb*^ Added by: rdb*^ Oct 28 2011 (7:03AM)
On a sweltering July night, minutes before midnight, the otherwise nondescript Bhagat Ki Kothi railway station in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, is abuzz with activity. Auto rickshaws disgorge passengers and their luggage while security keeps vigilant guard at the station entrance, permitting only passengers access to the platform. Families embrace each other, bidding farewell; yet, these are no ordinary farewells, imbued as they are with a deep sense of pathos and permanence. The Thar Express is due to arrive in a few hours from Karachi, Pakistan, and passengers boarding the train for the return journey both anticipate returning home and feel sadness at leaving their loved ones behind.The train track, having been destroyed in the Indo-Pak war of 1965, was revived on February 18, 2006, representing a significant confidence-building measure between India and Pakistan. Named "Thar" after the wide expanse of desert on either side of the border, this train link, both the...