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Sun. Oct 2nd, 2022
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AMRITSAR: Ahead of the birth anniversary of Sikh’s first master, Guru Nanak Dev, in November, the demand for resuming the Punjab Aab bus service and Samjhauta Express rail service between India and Pakistan is gaining strength.
While demanding the resumption of train and bus services between the two nations, former president of SAD(D), Paramjit Singh Sarana, asked why the “samjhauta (agreement)” was broken in the first place. “The bus and train services were a boon for the people of both the nations, not only for the pilgrims. It was the most convenient mode of transport for the divided families across the two countries,” Sarna said, adding SAD(D) would put forward its demand before the Centre as well as with Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee to put pressure on the Pakistan government for the resumption of these suspended services ahead of Baba Nanak’s birth anniversary.
Former president of Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Bishan Singh, too said they want both the nations to resume the train and bus services so that not only the pilgrims but the businessmen and the divided families could easily commute between India and Pakistan as they used to travel before. “There couldn’t be any better time to make such an announcement than the pious occasion of the ensuing birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev in November.”
Notably, the service of Indian bus “Punj Aab” (named after five rivers in Punjab) and Pakistan’s “Dosti” (friendship) was suspended after India revoked Article 370 that gave a special status to Jammu and Kashmir, in August 2019. Earlier in 2015, citing security reasons, Pakistan had restricted the movement of Lahore-Amritsar, Nankana Sahib–Amritsar and Lahore–Delhi bus service up to Wagah (Pakistan) border only. Similarly, the Samjhauta Express was also suspended in 2019.
Bishan opined that Indian sangat should also take up the matter with the government so that both the services were again resumed giving much reprieve to the common man who aspires to travel across the border. “The people-to-people contact will also help to shed differences and clear the misunderstandings,” he said.
A social activist, Dr Avtar Singh, opined both the services help fulfil religious aspirations of the faithful, help to promote trade and relatives divided across the Radcliffe line to meet each other. At the same time, he said that all the security precautions should be taken and the security forces were capable of doing so.

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