India-Pakistan Current Affairs - 2020
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India suspended weekly Jodhpur-Munabao Thar Link Express amid the ongoing tension with Pakistan over the Kashmir issue. This move comes days after India cancelled Samjhauta Express from its side after Pakistan had announced suspension of all train services to India.
About Thar Express
It is Indian portion of international passenger train operated weekly (every Saturday morning) by Indian Railway using its own coaches and locomotives, between Jodhpur and Munabao in India. Passengers from Munabao (Rajastan) after clearing customs are transported to across border to Zero Point station where Thar Express takes passengers to Karachi, Pakistan via Munabao (India)-Khokhrapar (Pakistan’s Sindh province) border crossing. It carries only passengers and not goods.
Background: The agreement to link two countries by rail service through Munabao-Khokhrapar link was signed in 2006 with aim to facilitate people-to-people contact. It was revived after gap 41 years after Munabao-Khokhrapar rail link was destroyed during 1965 war between two countries. This agreement was extended in 2018 for three years till January 31, 2021. According to estimates, over 4 lakh passengers from both countries have taken train in the past 13 years.
About Samjhauta Express
It is another passenger train running between India and Pakistan. It runs from Delhi to Attari on Indian side and from Lahore to Wagah on the Pakistan side. Its service was started in 1976 following Shimla Agreement.
Tags: India-Pakistan • Indian Railways • International Relations • Samjhauta Express • Thar Express
For 1st time after Independence (1947), ‘Nagar Kirtan’ carrying Guru Granth Sahib which was taken out from Nankana Sahib district of Punjab province of Pakistan, arrived at Attari in Amritsar, India. Nagar Kirtan is a religious procession. It will culminate at Sultanpur Lodhi in Kapurthala district of Punjab in India after passing through various cities and towns.
This procession by devotees is to mark 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev founder of Sikhism.
Nagar Kirtan carrying holy Guru Granth Sahib, in which around 500 Sikh devotees participated crossed over to India from Pakistan through the land transit route of Attari border.
The event was organized by Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC), an apex religious body of the Sikhs with support from both Indian and Pakistani authorities
The large parade of devotees followed religious procession from Gurdwara Nankana Sahib in Pakistan to Wagah border amid a thick security cover. Gurdwara Nankana Sahib is birthplace of Guru Nanak Dev.
Guru Nanak Dev
He was founder and 1st Guru of Sikhism. He was born in 1469, in village Talwandi now known as Nankana Sahib, is situated near city of Lahore in present day Pakistan.
Sikhs around world celebrate auspicious occasion of Guru Nanak Dev’s birth on Pooranmashi (full moon) day in Lunar month of Katak (October-November), which falls on a different date every year.
550th birth anniversary celebrations of Baba Guru Nanak Dev
In November 2019, 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak will be celebrated. However, on November 2018 Central government decided to celebrate 550th birth anniversary of Shri Guru Nanak Dev at national and international level for a period of one year from November 2018 to November 2019.
Tags: 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak • Gurdwara Nankana Sahib • Guru Nanak Dev • India-Pakistan • Nagar Kirtan