Jodhpur: The Bhagat ki Kothi railway station here on Friday wears a gloomy look with stranded passengers seen sobbing and pleading with media to convey their message to Pakistan, which has announced it will also shut down the Thar Link Express from here to Munabao in Pakistan, like the Samjhauta Express.
Railway officials said that there are 143 passengers to travel on the train – 29 passengers from Pakistan, and the rest Indians – on Saturday.
Many of the passengers were confused and breaking down after not getting “convincing replies” from railway officials if the train will run, or not, while some tried to console their relatives.
One of the passengers, Kani Devi, was seen crying non-stop.
Asked the reason, she said: “My niece is getting married there. I have her bridal wear with me. We want to reach to Karachi to attend this wedding. I lost by brother-in-law over 10 years back and now I don’t want my sister to stand alone under the wedding mandap. She needs to have someone who can support. Now you tell me how to go there to be with her when she needs me the most?”
Kani Devi, who hails from Madhya Pradesh, said: “We have planned our schedule in a way that I shall be standing with my sister in all wedding rituals. However, it is annoying how the autocracy is dominating the emotions of love and belonging.”
“I plead to Imran Bhai to listen to my plea and resume the services,” she said in an appeal to Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Another man, Kanwariya shows small kids of his son stranded at the railway station. “Please tell us if the train shall run or not. We don’t know if we will be able to reach our destination or not,” he says.
Another passenger from Ahmedabad with tears in his eyes says: “We are going to meet our daughter who is married there. My wife has got Indian citizenship after 35 years and we are traveling on thee Indian passport for the first time. My daughter delivered three sons which we have not seen since years. Imagine the excitement which we had and now it has all died, courtesy the decision of Pakistan.”
He quoted late former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee who had said “Jab mulk ke halat kharab honge, mulk ki raaste band nahin honge (When the two countries see their relations worsen, the roads (for people) shall never be closed).”
“People coming from different parts of the country – Gujarat, Mumbai and Kolkata – are suffering. They were all keen to meet their brothers, sisters and children… however, all their dreams are shattered now,” he said.
His wife, who was also seen crying continuously, said: “I want to convey my message to Imran Bhai and Modi Bhai (Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Imran Khan), do something for us, your sister is pleading to both of your governments to live like brethren, we love both the nations as we have our families staying in both countries.
“We have been living here since years and now want to meet our daughters settled there. Please don’t do this sin of making so many hearts cry together. Our daughters are also sobbing there and so are their families. Allah will bless you if you listen to us,” she said.
Pakistan on Friday announced to stop Thar Link Express, a day after announcing suspension of Samjhauta Express service between Lahore and Delhi, but railway officials here said that they are yet to receive any official intimation and hence the train shall depart for its scheduled destination, Munabao, at 1 a.m. on Saturday.
Railway’s Jodhpur Division PRO Gopal Sharma told IANS that they were “ready for the safe departure of Thar Link Express from our side on Saturday”.
“As of now, we have not yet received any information regarding suspension of its services. Train 14889 shall depart at its scheduled time, 1 a.m., from Bhagat ki Kothi railway station,” he said.